RFMLR-IBBI BLOG SERIES COMPETITION AND CONFERENCE ON EVOLVING DYNAMICS OF INSOLVENCY REGIME IN INDIA
The RGNUL Financial and Mercantile Law Review (‘RFMLR’), in association with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (‘IBBI’), organised a virtual Conference on the theme “Evolving Dynamics of the Insolvency Regime in India”, on Sunday, 30th January 2022. Academics, practitioners, and students from all fields attended the Conference where an esteemed Panel of experts from the field of insolvency discussed the practical and critical challenges faced by the insolvency regime in the country and offered novel and innovative solutions for such challenges.
Mr. Sudhaker Shukla, Whole-Time Member, IBBI, delivered the inaugural address. Mr. Shukla has served as a member of the Indian Economic Service for over 34 years in various capacities across Ministries and Departments of the Government of India. His last assignment was as the Chief Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Rural Development. He has also worked in the Ministry of Finance, dealing with matters pertaining to the WTO, trade, African Development Bank and infrastructure projects of World Bank. He emphasised the need to shed light on the untouched spheres of insolvency. He also discussed how the dynamics of the insolvency regime are everevolving through various amendments that are implemented by the relevant authorities in order to plug the gaps in the existing insolvency framework. This was followed by the declaration of meritorious entries of the RFMLR-IBBI Blog Series Competition, 2021.
Students and professionals were encouraged to submit manuscripts on various themes to contribute to the discourse around insolvency and related issues. After a comprehensive review, the top 3 entries were announced. 1. The first position was secured by Priankita Das, a fourth-year law student at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow. 2. The second position was secured by Tanvi Apte, a fifth-year law student at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. 3. The third position was secured by Trisha Singh Naulakha & Ishu Gupta, fifth-year students at Symbiosis Law School, Noida.
The esteemed panel comprised of: Mr. Ritesh Kavdia: He is an Executive Director in IBBI since 1st February 2018. He has 20 years of experience in the areas of Telecommunication, Management and Public Policy. Mr. Nilang T. Desai: He is a Senior Partner at AZB & Partners. He specialises in Restructuring & Insolvency as well as Structured Finance matters. Mr. Dhrupad Vaghani: He is an Associate Partner in the Banking & Finance and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code practices of Economic Laws Practice. He has over a decade of experience and has handled and worked on several banking & finance transactions. Mr. Pulkit Gupta: He is a Partner in the EY - Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy, and is also an Insolvency Professional registered with the IBBI. Mr. Saurav Panda: He is a Partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., Advocates & Solicitors. He specializes in Insolvency & Bankruptcy, Debt Restructuring, Structured Finance, Corporate lending, Securitisations and strategic advisory on lender enforcement actions. The Panel Discussion was moderated by Mr. Harshit Khare, who is the founder partner of “Harshit Khare Law Offices” having over 9 years of experience advising the clients in the sphere of insolvency resolution process in various capacities such as counsel to resolution professionals, representative of financial creditors and operational creditors and advisor to resolution applicants/investors. He formerly worked as a Principal Associate at Khaitan & Co., New Delhi.
Among the numerous key issues in the field, the Panelists deliberated upon how the position of personal guarantors with respect to corporate debtors is evolving under the IBC regime. The Panelists elucidated the areas of improvement in the IBC vis-à-vis stressed assets resolution as well as the pre-packaged insolvency resolution process for MSMEs. Additionally, the discussion also shed light upon cross-border insolvency within the Indian legal framework and the viability of alternative dispute resolution for the insolvency resolution process. Mr. Kavdia and Mr. Panda emphasized the need for having detailed protocols and a systematic framework based on a sustainable model to provide a guided path on how cooperation would work in the cross-border insolvency regime. Mr. Panda further advocated in favour of the adoption of Judicial Insolvency Network (‘JIN’) guidelines in India that would, he stated, help provide a platform for interaction between courts with different jurisdictions and would thus be appealing for insolvency professionals as well. The Panelists agreed that submitting to a universal body and a common resolution system with the implementation of country-specific uniform rules and regulations would ensure effectiveness in cross-border insolvency regimes. Furthermore, regarding the viability of alternative dispute resolution for the insolvency proceedings, Mr. Gupta opined that while this sounds feasible in theory, it may not be practicable due to the presence of multiple stakeholders. Mr. Desai and Mr. Vaghani also highlighted the difficulty in the application of alternative dispute resolution in insolvency proceedings and how it may fail to address the deeper issues which exist in the framework for insolvency. The possible scope for speedier resolution of insolvency proceedings available in light of new changes and experiments being introduced was also highlighted. The Panel Discussion followed a Q&A Session that allowed participants to interact and pose their queries to the Panelists. The Conference was concluded on a positive note qua the emerging insolvency regime in India and the way forward in the field.