NCLAT : In Ferro Alloys Corporation Ltd. & Anr. vs. Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd. & Anr.

It is always open to the ‘Financial Creditor’ to initiate ‘Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process’ under Section 7 against the ‘Corporate Guarantors’, as the creditor is also the ‘Financial Creditor’ qua ‘Corporate Guarantor’ before initiating  ‘Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process’ against the ‘Principal Borrower’.

The I&B Code does not exclusively delineates and/or prescribes any inter-se rights, obligation and liabilities of a guarantor qua ‘financial creditor’. Thus, in absence of any express provision providing for inter-se rights, obligation and liabilities of guarantor qua ‘financial creditor’ under the Code, the same will have to be noticed from the provisions of the Indian Contract Act, which exclusively and elaborately deals with the same.

In “State Bank of India vs. Indexport Registered and Ors.− (1992) 3 SCC 159”, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that … The decree is simultaneous and it is jointly and severally against all the defendants including the guarantor. It is the right of the decree-holder to proceed with it in a way he likes. Section 128 of the Indian Contract Act itself provides that “the liability of the surety is coextensive with that of the principal debtor, unless it is otherwise provided by the contract”…. “It appears the above-quoted observations in Manku Narayana case [(1987) 2 SCC 335 : AIR 1987 SC 1078] are not based on any established principle of law and/or reasons, and in fact, are contrary to law. It, of course depends on the facts of each case how the composite decree is drawn up. But if the composite decree is a decree which is both a personal decree as well as a mortgage decree, without any limitation on its execution, the decree-holder, in principle, cannot be forced to first exhaust the remedy by way of execution of the mortgage decree alone and told that only if the amount recovered is insufficient, he can be permitted to take recourse to the execution of the personal decree.”

In view of the aforesaid decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, we hold that it is not necessary to initiate ‘Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process’ against the ‘Principal Borrower’ before initiating ‘Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process’ against the ‘Corporate Guarantors’. Without initiating any ‘Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process’ against the ‘Principal Borrower’, it is always open to the ‘Financial Creditor’ to initiate ‘Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process’ under Section 7 against the ‘Corporate Guarantors’, as the creditor is also the ‘Financial Creditor’ qua ‘Corporate Guarantor’.

Link : https://nclat.nic.in/Useradmin/upload/11787485785c3493dcd0caf.pdf