Statutory dues, which were under the definition of "operational debt," may only be levied against the Corporate Debtor under the terms of the IBC and not under any other legislation. The assessee was ordered to pay the statutory dues from the date of purchase of the subject vehicles by assessees, which would be subject to other proceedings in relation to the said vehicles because assessees, as auction purchasers, could not be asked to pay the statutory dues claimed against the Corporate Debtor in liquidation in respect of vehicles purchased prior to their auction purchase.
A straightforward reading of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code provisions revealed that statutory dues, which fall within the definition of "operational debt," may be claimed against the Corporate Debtor only under the terms of the IB Code and not under any other legislation. All such claims were required to be filed with the Official Liquidator and were payable under the waterfall method outlined in Section 53 of the IB Code. The Assessee had put on record a demand letter issued by one of the respondent-Regional Transport Offices against the Corporate Debtor seeking payment of taxes on certain of the relevant cars. However, because these were statutory dues in respect of vehicles sold by the Official Liquidator and belonging to the Corporate Debtor, the amounts due from the Corporate Debtor would not be in accordance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules framed thereunder but would have to be in accordance with the provisions of the IB Code. In other words, the dues on the Corporate Debtor's cars could only be collected via the provisions of the IBC, namely the waterfall process under Section 53 of the IB Code, and not from assessees, who were the auction-purchasers. The assessee could be held liable to pay statutory dues in respect of the subject vehicles, which had been claimed by the respondent – Regional Transport Offices following their purchase by the assessee in April 2019, only from the date they purchased the subject vehicles after exercising their right to raise objections to such claim. Given the overall facts of the case and the requirements of the IB Code, it would be reasonable to direct the assessee to pay the statutory dues from the date of acquisition of the subject cars by assessees, which would be subject to additional actions in connection to the said vehicles since assessees, Being the auction purchasers, they could not be asked to pay the statutory dues claimed against the Corporate Debtor in liquidation in respect of cars purchased by assessees previous to their auction date.