NCLT Orders Liquidation of Choksi’s Nakshatra World

A bankruptcy court in Mumbai has ordered the liquidation of Nakshatra World, a company owned by fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi. About two years ago, ICICI Bank had filed an insolvency petition against the company, which is a subsidiary of Gitanjali Gems.

The court appointed Santanu Ray, a partner from Delhi-based AAA Insolvency Professionals LLP, as the liquidator. “In view of the decision of the COC, we are inclined… to initiate liquidation process against the Corporate Debtor,” the dedicated insolvency court said in an order released on Sunday, ICICI Bank did not immediately comment on the matter.

In January 2018, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had unearthed a bank fraud costing about Rs. 14,357 crores on a complaint filed by state owned Punjab National Bank, the lead lender to the Gitanjali Group promoted by Choksi.

One of the group companies Nakshatra World, engaged in the design and distribution of jewellery, was going through an insolvency resolution process since January 2019. No resolution was found as all the assets were attached by the Enforcement Directorate under the prevention of money Laundering Act.

Two other group companies, including Gitanjali Gems and nakshatra Brands, are also pending with the Mumbai bench of the NCLT as the Committee of creditors has filed applications for liquidating these companies as well.

Ravikumar Duraisamy and HP Chaturvedi headed the bench that passed the order.

A consortium of 31 banks has filed claims of Rs. 5,280 crores on the Gitanjali Group of companies.

“We will make all efforts to unlock the assets mortgaged to financial creditors by using our experience of other companies such as Nirav Modi, Vikram Kothari, REI Agro, Varrsana Ispat Limited expediting the de-attachment and sale of the assets for distribution to the stakeholders,” said Anil Goel, founder of AAA Insolvency Professionals LLP.   S-ET

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