Vikram (name changed) lives in Noida. He runs a small time kirana shop after he was asked to resign from debt ridden Moser Baer Electronics Limited, which later became bankrupt in 2019. Creditors moved National Company Law tribunal (NCLT) for liquidation to recover debt under Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP). It's been more than four years that the process is still underway. The company used to manufacture and sell electronic products like LED bulbs, blank CDs, DVDs, storage products, computer peripherals and pen drives
Vikas, who has not been given salary for nine months and entire gratuity amount, is still waiting and selling groceries to neighbourhood houses for living. His 10 year-old son who used to go to a public school, now attends nearby government school. His life has completely changed.
Not only his, lives of more than 90 people, who used to work in this company, have also changed. The only thing which has not changed is the long wait which they have been observing to get their dues.
The company, which was incorporated on November 14, 2006 with an authorized capital of Rs 110.30 core and paid up capital of Rs 6.27 crore, owes Rs 2.5 crore as liability for employees.
“There are around 40 employees who have not been paid their gratuity as well as few months salary while 60 odd employees are there who await unpaid salaries. We are fighting tooth to nail for our right,” said Sandeep Tyagi who has been waging this battle on behalf of employees.
The quantum of amount is not much but the impact is equally damaging for employees who have been deprived of their rightful income.
“Moser Baer India Limited is another company of the same promotor. It also went bankrupt and after liquidation of assets, dues were cleared for around 400 employees of this company. We also want this to happen to us,” said Tyagi.
Hemant Sharma, liquidator appointed for Moser Baer Electronics Limited, has also a sympathetic view towards paying dues to ex-employees. He said that the company does not have any gratuity fund to pay the gratuity and there is no clarity about how to pay these employees.
“Creditors have sought clarity from the court about the process. We are also waiting for directions from the court. We will abide by what court directs us,” Sharma told The BuckStopper.
What happened to Moser Baer
It is alleged that promoters of Moser Baer defrauded Central Bank of India and siphoned of Rs 354.51 crore. The CBI has filed an FIR against its director Ratul Puri, his father and Moser Baer Managing Director Deepak Puri, Directors Nita Puri (Ratul's mother), Sanjay Jain, Vineet Sharma and others in this case.
Before that, the company approached Central Bank of India for loan. Central bank of India sanctions loan of Rs 100 crore and comfort of Rs 49 crore on October 5, 2009. Later the bank sanctions another Rs 100 crore to Moser Baer on September 29, 2010 followed by another Rs 100 crore on October 28, 2010. Gradually Moser Baer accumulated debt without repayment and failed to repay despite restructuring of the loan. Central Bank of India declared Moser Baer as Non Performing Asset (NPA).
On November 4, 2017, Moser Baer initiated lockout at its Greater Noida factory putting future of 2,280 employees under dark. On November 14, 2017, Moser Baer was admitted under NCLT framework. Later on September 20, 2018 liquidation of Moser Baer commenced.