Invesco | Zee: NCLAT reserves order in ZEE’s plea for more time to file reply in Invesco matter in NCLT
NCLAT said it will pronounce the order later in the evening, which resulted in the tribunal to adjourn the matter for Friday.
ZEE had moved to the appellate tribunal on Wednesday, a day after the NCLT gave the company “less than two days” to file its reply in the application filed by Invesco.
The offshore investor had moved to the tribunal seeking a direction to convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of ZEE’s shareholders to remove MD and CEO Punit Goenka from the board.
ZEE, which is asking for “at least one week” to file its reply, moved the NCLAT seeking urgent hearing.
Appearing for ZEE, senior counsel Navroz Seervai submitted to NCLAT that the tribunal had allowed the company “only 36 hours to file a reply”. He added that contrary to what NCLT has mentioned in the order, “this is not a simple matter”.
“This is a gross violation of the principle of natural justice,” Seervai argued. “We had sought only one week to file a reply. There is no urgency in the matter. NCLT thinks that allowing us 36 hours was adequate. The tribunal has misread the section 98 and put a timeline on itself. Once the board rejects the requisition, there is 3 months deadline, not 45 days. And for Sec 98, there is no time limit.”
Calling it “travesty of justice”, Seervai said that Invesco’s petition was seeking ad-interim relief as its final relief.
To this, Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel appearing for Invesco, called ZEE’s petition a charade.
“The prayer was only for direction for holding an EGM. There was no ad-interim relief sought. They filed a suit in the Bombay high court with over 400 pages in one day with great speed,” Rohatgi said. “We are in a hurry because we want these people (Goenka) to be removed as they are holding this company hostage.”
Rohatgi added that the appeal in NCLAT by ZEE is an “abuse” of judiciary.
Meanwhile, appearing for the independent directors of ZEE, senior counsel Arun Kathpalia said that it was the first time that he finding that the respondents were not being given proper time to reply. “This should not be permitted to happen,” he submitted to NCLAT.
After hearing the matter, NCLAT reserved the order and said it will be uploaded during the course of the day.
Later, when the matter came up for hearing in the NCLT, Seervai appraised the tribunal of the challenge in NCLAT.
The tribunal said it will wait for the NCLAT order and adjourned the matter for Friday.
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