Delhi High Court Upholds Petitioner’s Appeal, Transfers Case to NCLT and Dismisses Tribunal’s Liability Order

 Case Name: Gurbakhsh Singh Ba, Buliders Private Limited v. Fortis Hospital Limited Escort Heart Institute & Research Centre 

Case No.: CO.APPL. 1353/2015 

Dated: May 14,2024 

Quorum:  Justice Dharmesh Sharma  



In order to carry out specific work at Fortis Hospital in Ludhiana, the respondent company issued a work order on May 15, 2014, with No. LDH-1/Addl Work/0101/R-1, in favour of the petitioner company. The petitioner completed the work to the satisfaction of the respondent company within the time frame specified in the work order.  

The petitioner company raised bills in accordance with the work completed. Dated August 14, 2014, and August 20, 2014, for a total of INR 2,52,59,522/- and transferred the same to the respondent company’s office for money exchange. The petitioner in this instance is the one who, via email dated on August 21, 2014, the responding company verified the amount of the work completed and provided the petitioner with an assurance that the sum owed will be properly compensated.  

But in spite of several reminders, the respondent company refused to release the outstanding payment. As a result, the petitioner was forced to serve the respondent company with a formal demand notice dated October 16, 2014. Following that, the petitioner company served the respondent company with a statutory legal notice dated November 13, 2014, in accordance with Sections 271 (1)(a) and 271 (2) (a) and (c) of the Companies Act, 2013. 

In response to the aforementioned legal notices dated 16.10.2014 and 13.11.2014, the respondent company, through its counsel, responded on 11.12.2014 and 26.12.2014, respectively. Suffice it to say, while the respondent company acknowledged issuing the Work Order, they denied any further obligation to pay the petitioner, claiming that the payment had already been made in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding dated 22.05.2014 and that the Work Order in question was an internal adjustment issued for accounting purposes.  




  • Section 433 of the Companies Act, 1956. Circumstances in which company may be wound up by Tribunal. The Tribunal has the authority to wind up a company for the following reasons: if the company has decided by special resolution to be wound up by the Tribunal; if the company defaults on delivering the statutory report to the Registrar or on holding the statutory meeting; if the company does not begin operations within a year of its incorporation, or suspends operations for an entire year; if the number of members is reduced below two, or below seven in the case of a private company; if the company is unable to pay its debts 




  • Whether respondent is entitled to the recovery of Rs.5,91,906/- towards balance amount for supply of goods to the appellant? 
  • Whether respondent is entitled to interest claimed @ 18%per annum w.e.f. July, 2019 till the filing of the suit, amounting to Rs.2,57,479/- from the appellant? 



The petitioners vehemently argued that the petitioner company is requesting the respondent company be wound up because it has unpaid debts totaling Rs. 2,48,39,128 and Rs. 2,34,53,258 in two different petitions. In compliance with the work orders dated May 15, 2014, and May 12, 2014, the petitioner finished the work to the respondent’s satisfaction within the allotted time.  

The respondent company promised payment and validated the amount of work completed via email, however they did not transfer the money in spite of several reminders. In order to recover money, the petitioner issued the respondent business with statutory legal notices and legal demand notices in accordance with the Companies Act of 2013.  



The respondent’s counsel strongly contends that the issuing of the work order but disclaimed any further responsibility, claiming that payment had been made in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dated May 22, 2014, which had nothing to do with the work carried out in accordance with the Work Order dated May 14, 2014. 

They asserted that the disputed Work Order was an internal modification made for accounting purposes. According to the respondent, the work order dated May 12, 2014, was revoked, and a new work order dated May 14, 2014, was issued for internal accounting purposes. This new work order adjusted the amount already paid under the May 22, 2015, memorandum of understanding.  



The court found that a review of the record confirms that the current winding up petitions are completely unworkable. The current procedures are in its early stages, to the extent that neither an Official Liquidator nor a Provisional Liquidator has been designated to assume control over the assets and operations of the responding company. Therefore, in these company petitions, no significant orders have been issued.  

The parties’ learned counsels have made representations in this regard. On behalf of the Petitioner’s learned Counsel, it has been argued that the purpose of the provisions pertaining to the transfer of pending winding up proceedings—particularly the fifth proviso to Section 434—is to prevent the emergence of parallel proceedings. In relation to the current case. 

As per the court’s ruling, all cases filed before the date in any District Court or High Court under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956), including those pertaining to arbitration, compromise, arrangements, reconstruction, and winding up of companies, will be transferred to the Tribunal. The Tribunal will then be able to handle these cases starting from the point where they were filed.  

Additionally, the court held that the Supreme Court had taken into consideration the entire statutory framework pertaining to company winding up as well as a number of rulings when it held that, even after admission, the High Court may transfer a petition of this kind to the NCLT, provided that no irreversible actions have been taken in connection with the company’s winding up. In addition, the petitioner’s experienced counsel has submitted that no application has been moved to transfer the current petitions to the NCLT, and this cannot be accepted.  

The court after considering the previous debate, this Court believed that the current petitions cannot be allowed to be continued before it because no substantive actions have been made to wind up the corporation. The instant petitions are therefore moved to the NCLT. The NCLT has the authority to decide these cases based on their merits and issue relevant rulings that comply with the law. 


“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.” 


Judgment reviewed by Riddhi S Bhora 

Click to view judgment.