Earlier today Reliance Jio Infocomm or Jio moved the bankruptcy court against Rcom or Reliance Communications tower unit, Reliance Infratel as per ET Telecom. This was done with the intention of seeking disclosures of the forensic audit reports of the tower company whose accounts were called fraudulent by some lenders.
In a virtual hearing, Vikram Nankani, representing Jio stated that they wanted a copy of the forensic audit report that was disclosed to them so that they could make an assessment of how it would impact the resolution plan.
For those of you unaware, back in December, the NCLT or National Company Law Tribunal's Mumbai bench had allowed Jio's resolution plan to take place which would pick up the tower and fibre assets held by RCom for under Rs 4,000 crore which would have gone to the lenders.
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Then, a week weeks post this, SBI, Union Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank clarified accounts of the bankrupt telco as well as its units as fraudulent. These units included Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel. The allegations came a year post a forensic audit that led to the reveal of transactions of Rs 5,500 crore in the three Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group entities.
The probe that focused on the transactions that took place between May 2017 and March 2018 found three large entries that were hidden under hundreds of thousands of others that, as per the SBI-headed lenders’ group suspects could conceal fund diversion.
On Thursday, Jio via its Reliance Project and Property Management Services unit sought the audit details from Reliance Infratel’s Committee of Creditors or CoC consisting of SBI, Union Bank and Indian Overseas Bank. In the application, the telco told NCLT that it wanted to see the audit reports to know why the accounts were called fraudulent.
Nankani stated that, as it appeared that the forensic audit report was available with the banks back on the 15th of October 2020. So, on the day on which their lordships approved the plan, which was the 3rd of December 2020, this report was available with the banks. They did not disclose the same, they did not disclose this to their Lordships, in fairness, they should have done it.
This development could further delay the lender's bid to make recoveries from the bankrupt telecom infra company which according to legal experts is the only one among the three whose resolution plan had been finalised by the NCLT.