Appeals filed by Axis Finance and IDBI Bank against the merger of Zee Entertainment and Culver Max Entertainment, formerly Sony Pictures Networks India, before the appellate tribunal NCLAT, would now be heard by a bench presided by its chairperson.
On Tuesday, the petitions filed by Axis Finance and IDBI Bank came up for hearing before a bench comprising Justices Anant Bijay Singh and Arun Baroka. However, it transferred both the petitions to the chairperson's bench.
The bench opined that since the chairperson-led bench is already hearing an insolvency appeal filed by IDBI Bank against Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), it would be appropriate for the same bench to hear these petitions also.
Earlier, both the petitions were listed before an NCLAT bench comprising Justices Rakesh Kumar and Alok Srivastava.
Justice Rakesh Kumar resigned on Monday following contempt of court proceedings initiated against him by the Supreme Court in the Finolex matter.
After this, the petitions were listed before another bench, which also transferred it to the bench of Chairperson Justice Ashok Bhushan.
Earlier on October 13, the NCLAT bench comprising Justices Rakesh Kumar and Alok Srivastava had adjourned the hearing till October 31 on pleas filed by IDBI Bank and Axis Finance.
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) did not issue a notice over the petitions filed by the private lender and the non-banking financial company (NBFC).
However, it said that Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) may file a response to both petitions if needed.
Both have challenged the August 10, 2023 order of the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) which approved the merger, paving the way for the creation of the country's largest media entity.
While approving the merger, the NCLT in its order, dismissed some applications moved by financial institutions opposing the move, including those of IDBI Trusteeship, IDBI Bank, Axis Finance, JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction Co, and Imax Corp.
This was challenged by IDBI and Axis Finance before the NCLAT.
The NCLAT bench led by the chairperson is also hearing another petition filed by IDBI that has challenged an NCLT order which on May 19 rejected the lender's plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the media major.
On Monday, the Securities Appellate Tribunal gave a major relief to ZEEL promoter Punit Goenka, after quashing market regulator Sebi's order that had barred him from holding key managerial posts in the company and other group firms.