NCLT to hear Go First lessors’ plea, directs IRP to file reply in one week

The NCLT insolvency court on Monday directed the interim resolution specialist at crisis-stricken Go First to file a response within one week to petitions by three lessors seeking possession of their aircraft and engines from the Wadia Group company.

The three lessors, who have applied to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), are BOC Aviation (Ireland), Jackson Square Aviation Ireland and Engine Lease Finance BV.

The two-member NCLT court directed the IRP (Interim Resolution Specialist) to file a response within two weeks and respond to feedback, if any, by the lessors.

She had directed that the order be inserted on 15 June at the next date of the hearing.

Jackson Square Aviation Ireland leased around 8 aircraft while Engine Lease Finance BV leased four engines for Go First.

The lessors moved to the NCLT after the NCLAT Court of Appeal directed them last month to approach the insolvency court over issues related to the moratorium on their aircraft.

Earlier, NCLT on May 10, 2023 acknowledged Go First’s petition to commence voluntary bankruptcy settlement proceedings and appointed an interim resolution specialist (IRP) to suspend the company’s board of directors.

This was challenged by the lessors before the National Corporate Law Appeals Tribunal (NCLAT), which on May 22 upheld NCLT’s order and directed the Wadia Group’s aircraft lessors and IRP to approach NCLT over a hold on the aircraft, whose lease had been terminated prior to bankruptcy.

Upon disposing of their claims through a 40-page joint order, NCLAT said lessors are “free to bring” an appropriate application before the NCLT under Section 65 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) with “appropriate pleadings and materials” in relation to their claims.

“The appellants, as well as the IRP, are free to make the appropriate application before the judicial authority (NCLT) for a declaration as to the applicability of the moratorium on the aircraft in respect of leases in favor of the applicant company (Go First) terminated prior to acceptance of the Section 10 application, which application needs to be considered and decided by the judicial authority in accordance with the law,” NCLAT said.

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