DRT ALLOWS ICICI BANK TO ACT AGAINST MARDIA CHEM

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The Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Ahmedabad has vacated the stay against ICICI Bank to proceed against the city-based Mardia Chemicals under the provisions of the Securitisation Act. However, the tribunal extended the stay earlier granted to the debt-ridden company till July 13 to enable it to file an appeal against the DRT order.

The company had challenged the notices issued by ICICI Bank and taking over of the possession its properties in Ahmedabad and Surendranagar, under the Securitisation Act. Rasik Mardia, chairman Mardia Chemicals, said the company will file an appeal against the DRT order at the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT), Mumbai.

The DRT Ahmedabad held that the appellant company has failed to make out a prima-facie case that notice given by the bank was illegal and contrary to law. Although, the tribunal said that the company's plea was maintainable, it set aside the earlier stay granted to Mardia in the matter.

ICICI Bank had alleged that the company abused the provisions of SICA by filing references before BIFR and the counter-suit filed by Mardia Chemicals was aimed at stalling the proceedings instituted by the bank to recover the debts. The property, called 'Mardia Nagar', is spread across 465 acres, valued at Rs 1,000 crore and houses 17 plants.

ICICI Bank had issued a 60-day notice to Mardia Chemicals on July 16, '02 under the Securitisation Act, which was then newly enacted.

Several cases related to the Maradia-ICICI stand-off are pending in different courts. An appeal against the recent order of DRT Ahmedabad at DRAT Mumbai may take the judicial battle to a new front.

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