Court reserves decision on Mittal bankruptcy
London: A London judge on Friday reserved judgment on whether the younger brother of steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, Pramod Mittal, should have been automatically discharged from bankruptcy after a year or whether his release should remain suspended after hearing that the 65-year-old had failed to comply with his duties to the bankruptcy trustee, who was appointed to investigate his property.
Mittal, an Indian citizen, who lives in an apartment in Mayfair, London, was declared bankrupt by the High Court in London on June 19, 2020 after failing to settle a judgment debt against him of Â£ 139million (Rs 1 390 crore), which led to Moorgate Industries UK – to whom it owes the debt, which arose from a guarantee it provided – filing the bankruptcy claim.
Paul Allen of corporate advisory firm FRP, who was appointed by the Secretary of State as Mittal’s bankruptcy trustee on June 29, 2020, took Mittal to insolvency and corporate court in June of this year, asking for the suspension of his discharge from bankruptcy, which should have taken place automatically after one year.
An interim stay of discharge was granted on June 17, 2021. At the final hearing on Friday, Allen’s attorney Tony Beswetherick told the court that in the first year of his bankruptcy, Allen had made several requests to Mittal to allow forensic experts to access Mittal’s files. electronic devices such as his laptops and smartphones and requested a second interview with him. He said Mittal had shown “a clear and flagrant breach of his duties”. “We say this is a very serious case of willful non-compliance.”
The goal of the bankruptcy trustee is to realize the assets of the estate and distribute those achievements to its proven creditors. Bankrupts must cooperate with the trustee and provide them with the information they request.
Mittal’s attorney, James Gibbons, made no admission as to the merits of the stay request, but sought to have the case dismissed over a technicality, arguing that the documents did not have been served on Mittal in accordance with the rules and that he had not received sufficient notice of the claim, nor was he given sufficient notice to file his evidence.
Although Mittal successfully secured an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) approved by 75% of 20 creditors’ value at a meeting of creditors on October 26, 2020, it is unable to rescind its wagering order. bankrupt, as Moorgate is challenging the IVA in court.