Firstly, apologies are in order as a few hearings have elapsed in this matter and we were unable to update the same.
Just to bring you up to date, the matter was not moving fast enough and now suddenly it has seen some drastic developments. The Division Bench (two judge bench) which was sitting over this appeal by Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited had earlier stayed the order of winding up passed by the single judge effectively putting on hold any developments in the case against the company.
Recently, the Division Bench went through the case in detail and found no reason to stay the winding up order passed by the single judge. The Division Bench asked Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited to give good reason why winding up of the company should not be ordered and the appeal filed by the company should not be dismissed.
The lawyers on behalf of Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited argued that the company was willing to pay the depositors and make good their debts and that a chance should be given to the company. The Division Bench then asked Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited to deposit Rs. 2 crores every month in court till all the depositors are paid out. However Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited argued that the amount was too large and it would be unable to pay the same on a regular basis. The Division Bench then asked the company to consider Rs. 1 crore every month, but the lawyers for Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited cited hardship and difficulty in making such regular payments. They submitted that they would deposit Rs. 25 lakhs every quarter and Rs. 7 crore in lumpsum by 31.12.2017. They further submitted that they would endeavor to clear the entire outstanding by 31.12.2018.
The Division Bench was not satisfied with the submissions of Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited. However considering the interests of the depositors it passed orders by which the appeal was disposed off. We are awaiting the orders and the contents thereof. From what was heard in court it seems that:
a) The appeal is disposed off with the order of the single judge for winding up being confirmed.
b) Stay on winding up seems to be lifted. The matter seems to be referred back to the discretion of the single judge whether to wind up the company or permit acceptance of certain amounts on a periodic basis from Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited and disburse the same to the depositors.
c) Stay on SFIO investigation seems to be lifted and SFIO may be empowered to investigate the company once again.
d) A committee seems to have been formed for prioritization of disbursal of amounts available in Court (Rs. 6 crore and a further Rs. 1 crore in frozen bank account) to depositors having deposits below Rs. 50,000. It seems that there is confusion on the members of this committee and we will await the order for details on the same.
e) Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited has been directed to deposit minimum Rs. 1 crore before 31.12.2016 as an act of good faith.
However the above can only be cross verified the moment we get hold of the order copy. Update on that will follow soon.
Further we are informed that Helios and Matheson Information Technology Limited has deposited a further amount of Rs. 20 lakhs in court.