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NCLT reinstates Vikram Bakshi as MD of Connaught Plaza Restaurant


NEW DELHI: In a big blow to McDonald’s in its fight with its estranged joint venture partner, the National Company Law Tribunal on Thursday reinstated Vikram Bakshi as managing director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants (CPRL), the 50:50 local joint venture between Bakshi and the US-headquartered McDonald’s that operates the fast food chain in north and east India.

In its ruling passed on Thursday afternoon, Chief Justice MM Kumar held that all steps taken in pursuance of non-election of Vikram Bakshi as managing director are ‘illegal, unlawful, unjust and malicious.’ The status of Vikram Bakshi as managing director of Connaught Plaza is restored, the order stated. The proceedings of the meetings of the Board of Directors held on August 6, 2013, relating to re-election of Vikram Bakshi as managing director of the company are set aside, and declared illegal, unjust and mala fide, the order added.

“I stand completely vindicated,” said an elated Bakshi, who was dramatically ousted as managing director of CPRL in August 2013, and since then has been embroiled in a protracted legal fight with McDonald’s, dragging the world’s largest fast food chain to CLB in September 2013. McDonald’s has been pursuing arbitration against Bakshi in the London Court of International Arbitration, which is likely to announce the verdict soon.

Reacting to the order, McDonald’s India Private Limited (MIPL) said “We respect the decision of the NCLT. We are examining the judgement and exploring our legal options in the matter.”

The tribunal also appointed former Supreme Court judge Justice GS Singhvi as administrator to break the deadlock in the 50:50 joint venture of CPRL. The administrator will also have the power to vote in the meeting of Board of Directors.

Late last month, CPRL shut down 43 out of 55 restaurants in Delhi as it failed to get the mandatory regulatory health licences renewed because of the infighting between Bakshi and McDonald’s.

“Reopening the outlets would be my biggest priority,” said Bakshi, when asked about the timeframe to open the restaurants in Delhi. CPRL operates 168 restaurants in North and East India.

Source: Economic Times

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