The Supreme Court has issued an opinion on a petition that raises the question of whether a medical consultant can be discriminated against against a salaried doctor during a hospital’s corporate insolvency resolution process.
The case arises out of the insolvency resolution proceedings of PVS Memorial Hospital Pvt Ltd located in Kochi.
The civil appeal was filed against an order of the order of NCLAT Chennai, which dismissed a medical consultant’s challenge against the judgment order of NCLT Kochi, which dismissed his request which sought to dismiss the recommendations of the NCLT Kochi. resolution plan (for debtor companies – PVS Memorial Hospital Pvt Ltd.)
According to the Resolution Plan, “Other Operational Creditors” including medical consultants only receive 2.34% while salaried doctors receive 99.29% of their contributions.
The appeal indicated that the resolution plan approved by the creditors’ committee distinguished between two categories of operational creditors.
The appellants argued that this violated Article 30 (2) Explanation 1 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Article 14 of the Constitution of India and the Supreme Court judgment in Essar Steel India Limited Creditors Committee v. Satish Kumar Gupta and Ors.
The medical advisers in this regard had further asserted that the NCLAT had erred in not considering that medical advisers could not be sanctioned for being senior and not appearing in the roles of the Debtor Company.
“Excluding consulting physicians from the hospital’s corporate debtor lists was not their choice. Hospitals, as normal practice, around the world hire the services of senior medical specialists on an advisory basis. and they provide critical health care services such as surgeries and diagnostics with the assistance of junior physicians who may or may not be registered in Debtor Company roles. difference of about 96.95% between consulting physicians and salaried physicians. nor is it the case with anyone that consulting specialist physicians do not spend much time in hospital than that of salaried physicians . compared to the approved resolution plan ”, call also indicated.
To further support their contention, the appellants relied on the judgment of Binani Industries Ltd. vs. Baroda Bank in which it was clearly established that discrimination between operational creditors would violate the provisions of the Code and that if operational creditors are ignored and endowed with a “liquidation value” then no creditor will provide the goods or render services on credit to any debtor company.
The appellants in their appeals also argued that the resolution plan was prepared on the basis of a completely flawed and perverse appraisal report submitted by a licensed appraiser, viz. RK Patel who made it contrary to Regulation 35 (1) of the IBBI Regulation (Insolvency Resolution Process for Legal Persons), 2016.
Lead counsel Nakul Dewan, lawyers Mukund P Unny, Sankar Panicker and Sriram P represented the appellant.
Case title: Dr Vijay Radhakrishnan v. Bijoy P Pulipra, Resolution Professional, PVS Memorial Hospitals Pvt Ltd | Civil call n ° (s) 5905/2021
Click here to read / download the order