NCLAT refers to a larger bench to consider

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the NCLAT Main Bench in a bench consisting of Judge Ashok Bhushan, President, Dr Ashok Kumar Mishra and Dr Alok Srivastava, technical members of Jaipur Trade Expocentre Pvt. Ltd v Metro Jet Airways Training Pvt. ltd. referred the question whether the grantor’s claim for payment of license fees for the use and occupancy of real estate premises for business purposes is a claim for “operating debt” within the meaning of Article 5 ( 21) of the Code to a larger bench of 5 members to consider.

The judgment of 7and In March 2022, the NCLAT referred two issues for consideration before the 3-judge “extended bench” that was constituted in this case. The questions asked were:

I. If the judgment of this Tribunal in Company Appeal (AT) (Ins.) No. 331 of 2019 in the matter of ‘MM Ravindranath Reddy Vs. MG Kishan & Ors.’ Establishes the correct law.

ii. If the grantor’s claim for payment of license fees for the use and occupation of the real estate premises for business purposes is a claim for “operating debt” within the meaning of section 5 (21) of the code.

The seat with 2 judges out of 7and March 2022 expressed doubts as to the correctness of the decision in the case of MM Ravindranath Reddy Vs. MG Kishan & Ors.

The bench of three judges in the present case expressed similar doubts about the judgment in MM Ravindranath Reddy Vs. MG Kishan & Ors. on the grounds that it was unaware of the Supreme Court’s decision in Mobilox Innovations (P)Ltd. Vs. Kirusa Software (P) Ltd.

The Appeals Tribunal sent the case back to a larger bench to consider the issues set out in the judgment of 7and March 2022 and submitted the matter to the President to form an expanded panel.

Case title: Jaipur Trade Expocentre Pvt. Ltd v Metro Jet Airways Training Pvt. ltd

Appellant’s lawyer: Ms. Sanjana Saddy, Mr. Sanyat Lodha and Ms. Harshita Singhal and Hima Bhardwaj, lawyers

Counsel for the Respondent: Mr. Vikrant Arora, lawyer

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