Judgment Summaries (NCLT) – In the matter of Aircel Limited

  December 22, 2021

In the matter of Aircel Limited (Mumbai Bench (27.11.2019))

 

Facts

The RP of Aircel Limited and Dishnet Wireless (CDs) filed these applications before the NCLT, Mumbai bench. The RP prayed for a declaration that the non-termination of licenses effected by the moratorium under Section 14 of the Code was applicable to all licenses — including the telecom licenses granted by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the spectrum purchased by the CD. The RP reasoned that telecom licence and the spectrum were valuable assets for the CD, and were therefore required for the operation of debtor companies as a going concern.

Order

The Tribunal observed that a resolution applicant would show interest in the business of the CD if it held a licence. Since no other valuable asset was available to the CD, no resolution applicant would show interest in its business revival. Licence was, thus, sine qua non for receiving a good resolution plan. The Tribunal noted that Section 14(1)(d) of the Code prohibits recovery of any property in possession of the CD by its owner or lessor. Therefore, it reasoned that such prohibition would also be applicable to licenses issued by the DoT. The Tribunal lastly noted that the use of licence/spectrum was akin to “essential goods or services”, without which the CD could not run its telecom business; and thus, instructed the DoT not to make any attempt to cancel the CD’s licence.

 

Full text of the order accessible here.

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