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The Appeal is Dismissed as the Principle of Res Judicata Applied: NCLAT

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), Principal Bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, Chairperson and Naresh Salecha, Technical Member was hearing an appeal and held that the Appellant's appeal was dismissed as the principle of res judicata applied, and their claim, already conclusively rejected, could not be revived using the "Puneet Kaur" judgment.

The appeal pertains to the rejection of I.A. No. 3640 of 2022 filed by the Appellant, challenging an order dated 30.11.2022 by the Adjudicating Authority. The case revolves around the insolvency proceedings of M/s Today Homes Noida Pvt. Ltd., the Corporate Debtor.

The Corporate Debtor's insolvency was initiated on 20.08.2019, and claims were invited from creditors and stakeholders. A Resolution Plan presented by the "One Group" received approval in a CoC meeting on 04.03.2020.

The Appellant, who had not filed a claim earlier, submitted a claim on 16.06.2021. This claim was rejected by the Resolution Professional on 24.03.2021 due to its belated nature, as the Resolution Plan had already been approved on 03.03.2021.

In response, the Appellant filed I.A. No. 3213 of 2021, challenging the rejection of their claim. However, this application was also rejected by the Adjudicating Authority on 21.09.2021. Subsequent appeals to higher authorities, including the Appellate Tribunal and the Hon’ble Supreme Court, were similarly dismissed.

The Appellant then submitted I.A. No. 3640 of 2022, seeking directions based on the judgment in "Puneet Kaur v. K.V. Developers Private Limited and Others, REED 2022 NCLAT Del 06501" The Adjudicating Authority dismissed this application on 30.11.2022.

During the appeal proceedings, the Appellant argued that the "Puneet Kaur" judgment should apply retrospectively and questioned the treatment of their claim in the Resolution Plan. They also contended that the Resolution Professional had concealed crucial facts.

The Resolution Professional and the Successful Resolution Applicant countered these arguments, asserting that the Appellant's earlier application being rejected barred them from filing a similar one. They also emphasized that prior judgments had settled the issue of belated claims.

The Appellate Tribunal observed that the principle of res judicata applied within the same proceeding and cited relevant case laws. The NCLAT ruled that the substantial prayer for claim admission had already been conclusively rejected by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Appellate Tribunal also noted that the "Puneet Kaur" judgment couldn't be invoked for a claim already mentioned in the Resolution Plan.

Ultimately, the Appellate Tribunal affirmed the Adjudicating Authority's order, concluding that the appeal lacked merit.

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