The Commercial High Court yesterday gave former Chairman/CEO of Touchwood PLC Lanka Kiwlegedara time till August 25th, to submit statement of affairs and all other documents pertaining to Touchwood PLC, upon the firm undertaking given by Counsel Nihal Fernando PC.
During the hearing before Commercial High Court Judge Amendra Senevirathna yesterday, the judge said that the extension was only made on the personal undertaking of Nihal Fernando, PC, as he is a senior and respected counsel.
Nihal Fernando, PC, appearing on behalf of Kiwlegedara for the first time yesterday informed court that preparation of the statement of affairs and all other documents would be submitted in due course as his client needed more time to prepare the document.
He said that he received the framework for the necessary documents on August 6 and as such Kiwlegedara had no time to prepare the said documents.
Counsel Hafeel Farisz appearing for the liquidator said the statement of affairs was a legal document listed under winding up rules of 1939 and as such the framework was a legal mechanism which any company being wound up was aware of.
He further said by the letter dated June 15 Kiwlegedara had in fact informed the liquidator that he would submit the statement of affairs within two weeks which the liquidator is yet to receive.
During the hearing which took a heated turn at times, Counsel Avindra Rodrigo appearing on behalf of the Petitioner said the request for further time was a delaying tactic used by Kiwlegedara.
“They took us through a ten month process of winding up and thereafter he has failed to give a single document to the liquidator or to court. The fact that during the last hearing they agreed to submit all the documents and an order made in this regard was completely disregarded. This is contempt of court,” he said.
He further said none of the documents ordered by the court in its previous order were submitted.
“Not one document has been given. The order was to give all documents pertaining to the assets of the company including the statement of affairs which the counsel appearing on that day undertook to do,” he said. Judge Senevirathna reiterating the view of Counsel Rodrigo said there had been many opportunities given to Kiwlegedara to provide the said documents to the liquidator.
Fernando, PC, said he was appearing for the first time and therefore requested for more time in order to submit the said documents.
Fernando, PC, further said the company was willing to corporate with the liquidator to dispose all assets and settle the creditors.
“We will be able to revive the company back again with the help of the liquidator,” he said. The company has enough assets to settle all the depositors, we have assets in Thailand and we will go with the liquidator and look at ways of selling them. These are all valuable assets,” he said. Counsel V.K. Choksy appearing for another creditor also said that Kiwlegedara has been given enough time to produce the said documents pertaining to the assets, but has failed to do so.
Thereafter the court called on the liquidator Sudath Kumara who said the only document he had received so far was a bank statement from Hatton National Bank, which had a balance of Rs.3, 000. However, all parties agreed that since a senior counsel was appearing and making an undertaking, a further date may be granted.
Having heard submissions by all parties, Judge Senevirathna ordered Kiwlegedara to submit all documents pertaining to the assets of the company, and the statement of affairs to be submitted by August 25 to the liquidator.
The Judge said that he was making the extension only due to the application made by Nihal Fernando, PC, who undertook to present all documents.
The next hearing was fixed for 27th August,1.30 pm .
Yet another delay and no documents produced whatsoever. To my detailed knowledge, Touchwood Plc have NO assets in Thailand. The trees are owned by the investors, as they are in all plantations maintained by the affiliated companies,I think you will find that in fact the only assets TWOD have is the Rs3,000 with the Hatton National Bank!
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