The Supreme court on Thursday (October 29,2020) transferred all petitions, pending in various high courts of the country, challenging provisions of personal insolvency under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to itself. High courts have been directed not to entertain any more writ petitions on this issue.
The order was passed by an apex court bench headed by Justice L Nageswara. The three-judge bench, also comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi, added that all interim directions passed in pending cases will continue till further orders. The case will be next heard on 2 December for detailed arguments.
The bench on Wednesday had said it would pass orders on a batch of pleas filed by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) seeking transfer of petitions challenging the provisions of IBC with regard to personal insolvency. Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Diwan, representing IBBI, had apprised the bench that all pending petition raised similar issues and challenged the provisions of the IBC with regard to personal insolvency and to avoid conflicting orders by different high courts, it would be best if all petitions are transferred to the top court for final adjudication. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing State Bank of India and arguing for the transfer, had submitted that since issues raised in the pending petitions were of national importance, it would be better for the apex court to rule to avoid contradictory judgments. He had added that there was concern that the issue might not be decided quickly enough by the high courts. Counsels representing the personal guarantors have opposed the transfer contending that the high courts should decide the issue as then the top court would have the benefit of perusing the judgments of the former. The list of pending personal insolvency cases includes that of Anil Ambani and of Sanjay Singal, former managing director of BPSL.