Delhi High Court Restrains YES Bank from Declaring an Account as “NPA”

The Delhi High Court restrained YES Bank from declaring a loan account as a ‘Non-Performing Asset’ (“NPA“) again. For the reason of non-payment of instalment due to unavoidable circumstances caused by COVID19 pandemic. The Petitioner constituted as a Special Purpose Vehicle for development of the NH-11. In 2011, the respondent bank granted a loan of ₹389 crores for the said SPV. The loan agreement required the Petitioner to inform the bank of any loss or damage suffered due to unforeseeable circumstances. Default in payment empowered the respondent to terminate the loan agreement and take additional steps.

The Petitioner stated due to closure of national highways amid lockdown he is unable to generate revenue from toll collection. Therefore, the obligation to pay instalment should stand deferred. As per the moratorium announced by the Reserve Bank of India by its circular dated 27/03/20. Moreover, Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for the Petitioner, states that it was clear that the closure of highways ‘may be taken as force majeure of the transaction/contract agreement.‘ Mr Ashish Chawla appearing for respondent stated the NHAI’s Circular dated 25/03/2020 will have no application in the present case as amounts were due from the Petitioner as far back as in December 2019.

Following the order passed in the case, “Anant Raj Ltd vs Yes Bank Ltd.“. The Single Bench of Justice Hari Shankar held that the Petitioner is entitled to the restoration of the state of affairs. Concerning the loan account, as it exists on March 1, 2020. The Delhi High Court also took into account the statement made by Governor of Reserve Bank; with regard to the exclusion of lockdown period for NPA classification.