June 27, 2021
A feature where we talk to different kinds of professionals working in the insolvency and restructuring industry to get a well-rounded picture.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your academic and professional background?
I am a practising member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and have been working in the field of insolvency laws, corporate laws, corporate restructuring and RBI compliances. I had secured an All-India Rank (AIR) of 9 in my CS Executive Examinations. I have always been an avid reader and a continuous learner.
Prior to the introduction of the IBC, on which areas did your practice focus?
Previously my focus was on corporate restructuring, compliance management (in accordance with the Companies Act, 2013 and the securities laws) and FEMA compliances.
How many IBC matters have you undertaken so far? Do you mainly practice in the NCLT, or also in the higher forums?
I have handled 4-5 IBC matters and the others are underway. I mainly practice in the Hon’ble NCLT.
How was your experience in the early days of IBC litigation? What were some of the challenges you faced?
In the early days, when IBC was a new legislation, a lot of effort was taken by all professionals across India to interpret the Code in its truest sense and in a way that the underlying intention of the legislature would be kept in mind. Since the law was still taking shape, we as practitioners had to be very diligent in interpreting the Code. However, as the provisions of the Code tested waters before the judiciary, more particularly the Hon’ble
Supreme Court of India in cases such as Innoventive Industries Limited, Swiss Ribbons v. Union of India, Mobilox Innovations Private Limited v. Kirusa Software Private Limited etc., the interpretation of such provisions became more comprehensible.
How do you think IBC has evolved so far? Where has it faltered, and where do you think it has a scope to do better?
IBC has been by far one of the most dynamic laws in India. It has been amended six times in a time span of merely five years from the date of its enactment. The legislature has always been pro-active in amending the Code to fill in or clarify the loopholes from time to time and to ensure that it suits the prevalent economic conditions. From considering the constitutional validity of the Code to the introduction of special Pre-Packaged Insolvency Resolution Process for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the Code has come a long way.
Despite being such a dynamic legislation, the Code has faltered in certain areas, such as the increased hair cuts being taken by the financial institutions, the limited infrastructure and availability of judges at the Hon’ble Adjudicating Authorities that has led to burdening the existing members of the Tribunal.
However, I believe that as professionals we shall be able to combat such shortcomings of the Code.
What would be your advice for lawyers considering specialisation in insolvency laws?
My word of advice would be that you one inculcate the habit of reading the judgments pertaining to insolvency laws every day. Reading the decided case laws with the relevant provisions of the Code and the regulations made thereunder helps give clarity to the interpretation of the provisions. Since the Code is so dynamic, it is essential to keep yourself updated on the decisions in several judgments passed by the judicial forums in insolvency laws.
(This interview has been edited for clarity and readability)
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