Ex-employees of Moser Baer Electronics Limited has filed contempt petition before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking action against the liquidator. The Tribunal is scheduled to hear the petition on September 27, 2023.
According to Sandeep Tyagi, who is representing former employees, said that the contempt petition has been filed as the liquidator is not giving the statutory dues despite directions from the Tribunal.
“The Tribunal has directed to pay statutory dues like provident fund and gratuity to ex-employees. We have been waiting for long but haven't heard anything from the liquidator,” said Tyagi.
The Moser Baer Electonics Limited, a subsidiary of Moser Baer India Limited, had hit bankruptcy 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.
Around 90 people, who used to work in this company, have been waiting for statutory dues and salaries of several months.
The company, which was incorporated on November 14, 2006 with an authorised 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 Tyagi.
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 had 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 had 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.