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COMPANY LAW

Date Of Article : 22-04-2021

STATEMENT OF LIABILITY IN BALANCE SHEET OF THE CORPORATE DEBTOR AMOUNTS TO ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF LIABILITY AND GIVES RISE TO FRESH PERIOD OF LIMITATION U/S 18 OF LIMITATION ACT.Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Asset Reconstruction Limitedv.Bishal Jaiswal & Anrhasset aside the five-member Bench judgment of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (“NCLAT”) in V Padma Kumar v. Stressed Assets Stabilization Fund (the “Padma Kumar case”) and has held that an acknowledgement of liability in the balance sheet of the corporate debtor is an acknowledgment of debt.The Supreme Court also averted to the fact that “the filing of a balance sheet in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act is mandatory, any transgression of the same being punishable by law”. However, what is of importance is that notes that are annexed to or forming part of such financial statements are expressly recognised by Section 134(7) of the Companies Act, 2013. Equally, the auditor’s report may also enter caveats with regard to acknowledgements made in the books of accounts including the balance sheet.It is now apparent that creditors who intend to initiate proceedings under Section 7 and/or 9 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, will need to ensure thata)Borrowers admit the liabilities owned by them to creditors in their balancesheets till the monies along with interest are repaid/settled; andb)There are no Observations/ Objections/Caveats made by the borrowerseither in the notes, auditors report etc with regard to acknowledgment made in the books of accounts including the balance sheet.