India’s National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has stayed NCLT order directing ArcelorMittal India Private Limited to pay INR 1,300 crore by December 15, 2020 as corporate insolvency resolution process cost to Odisha Slurry Pipeline Infrastructure for using its assets till the next date of hearing. A two-member bench of Justice Bansi Lal Bhat, Acting Chairperson and Justice Anant Bijay Singh, Member (Judicial) said "As an ad-interim the operation of the impugned order as regards making of payment by the Appellant to OSPIL by 15th December 2020 shall remain stayed till next date of hearing."
Senior council Mr Harish Salve, representing ArcelorMittal, argued that the appellant ArcelorMittal India Private Limited had been directed to make payment of charges as IRP costs to an entity which had not claimed it during the CIRP of Essar Steel India or even thereafter.
The matter is listed ‘for admission’ on January 22.
The Ahmedabad Bench of the NCLT had passed an order on November 10, on an application moved by a financial creditor Srei Infrastructure Finance which recognised the charges for the use of slurry pipeline for running Essar Steel as a going concern as CIRP costs by December 15, failing which, NCLT could pass a liquidation order against Essar Steel subsequently renamed AMNS India.
Odisha Slurry Pipeline Infrastructure, 69% owned by India Growth Opportunities Fund, a scheme of Srei Multiple Asset Investment Trust, and balance with Essar Steel, owns and operates a 253 km slurry pipeline, which is a critical asset for AMNS India. It connects AMNS India’s iron ore beneficiation plant in Dabuna with the 12-million tonne pellet plant in Paradip. It was leased to Essar and the arrangement captured in the right to use agreement. However, OSPIL landed up in NCLT and ArcelorMittal submitted INR 2,359 crore resolution plan, which was approved by the Cuttack Bench of the NCLT earlier this year.