IBBI “inadvertently” publishes information on Aadhaar, PAN creditors on website; delete them later

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The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) “inadvertently” posted on its Aadhaar and PAN website details of creditors, including workers, of some companies being resolved, and the issues are expected to be settled in the next few days.

A senior official said the details had “inadvertently” come into the public domain as the regulator works on a beta project to host creditors information for companies going through the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and on liquidation.

The IBBI, a key institution in the implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), is working on the project to ensure and improve transparency regarding the CIRP and liquidation processes, said the manager, adding that the matter will be settled in the next few days.

Details that were inadvertently released have been removed, the official added.

Such details on the number of exonerated creditors could not be immediately determined.

There has been no official comment from the IBBI.

Under IBBI regulations, the contact details of creditors, including workers, of companies in the process of CIRP or in liquidation must be disclosed on the websites of the companies (debtor companies) concerned. The details required include the name of the affected creditor, the amount claimed and the amount admitted.

In the case of an CIRP, these details must be disclosed by the relevant resolution professional while in liquidation processes, the affected liquidator would make such disclosures.

This information must be published on the websites of the companies concerned.

In cases where many small businesses do not or are unable to maintain their websites, IBBI is working on a project to host these details on its website for easy access to creditors. The works started a few days ago.

In some cases, details of creditors, including information such as their Aadhaar and PAN, have been submitted in PDF format. Since it is difficult to remove specific details from PDF files, many people’s Aadhaar and PAN information was inadvertently made available on the IBBI website, the official said.

Those details that were inadvertently released have now been removed, the official added.

There have been instances where resolution professionals have contacted the IBBI and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) about regulations requiring the public disclosure of creditor details.

In an order issued in December 2018, the Allahabad Chamber of the NCLT ordered an Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) to post the list of creditors on the debtor company’s website.

“… IRP is responsible for publishing the list of creditors containing the names of creditors as well as the amount claimed by them, the amount of their admitted claims and the security, if any, on the website of the debtor company,” the NCLT bench said.

The order was issued following a petition filed by the IRP seeking certain directions regarding the disclosure of the names of creditors and the amounts claimed by them from the debtor company (company) submitted to the CIRP.

Since the provisions of the CIRP entered into force on December 1, 2016, a total of 4,376 CIRP have started up to the end of March of this year.

Of the total, 2,653 were closed, including 348 CIRPs which resulted in the approval of resolution plans. No less than 617 CIRPs were closed on appeal or in review or settled, while 411 were withdrawn and 1,277 resulted in liquidation orders.

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