NCLT asks McDonald’s to respond to contempt plea

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New Delhi: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday resumed hearing a contempt plea against American fast food chain McDonald’s Corp. filed by its estranged joint venture partner Vikram Bakshi.

A bench headed by NCLT president M.M. Kumar directed McDonald’s to file a reply to the contempt plea by 30 January.

The resumption of the NCLT hearing comes after the Delhi high court dismissed McDonald’s India’s plea challenging NCLT’s right to issue a contempt notice. The plea was in reference to a show-cause notice issued by NCLT to its US parent McDonald’s Corp. in September.

The matter will be heard next on 7 February.

The McDonald’s-Bakshi feud goes back to 2013, when the former had voted against the re-election of Bakshi as managing director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL), following which Bakshi challenged his removal at the Company Law Board (now NCLT).

NCLT reinstated Bakshi as managing director on 13 July and restrained McDonald’s from interfering in the functioning of CPRL. McDonald’s challenge to NCLT’s order is pending in National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.

On 21 August, McDonald’s India terminated its franchise pact with CPRL, a joint venture between McDonald’s India and Bakshi, and asked CRPL to shut all the restaurants from 6 September. Bakshi has, however, continued to operate them.

Bakshi contended that the termination of franchise agreement was in conflict with the NCLT order of July 2017, which had asked McDonald’s to refrain from interfering in the smooth functioning of CPRL and all its 169 McDonald’s outlets in north and east India.livemint