Published On: Thu, May 26th, 2022

‘Extraordinary order’: SC sets aside Delhi HC order staying SFIO probe into Sahara group firms

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the Delhi High Court order, which stayed the investigation into companies related to the Sahara Group and also the lookout circulars issued against its chief Subrata Roy and his wife.

We issued a look out circular so that they do not flee the country

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi said the high court order was unwarranted and also it passed an extraordinary order staying the investigation. On May 17, the top court had agreed to list a plea by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) challenging the Delhi High Court order.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the SFIO, submitted that total money involved is Rs 1 lakh crore and considering layers and layers of companies involved, the probe could not be completed in three months and it took more time.

“We issued a look out circular so that they do not flee the country…”.

Mehta also took objection to the high court order staying the lookout circulars issued against the directors, promoters, and employees of the companies, so that they won’t flee the country.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Sahara Group, submitted that the Companies Act 2013, is not applicable to the transaction which occurred in 2011, which SFIO is seeking to investigate. He added that the investigation under Section 219 of the Act, is without legal basis and also there is no prima facie materials against the firms.

Citing the 2012 top court judgment, Sibal said Sahar Housing Corporation Ltd. has deposited Rs 24,000 crore with market regulator, SEBI.

A plea by the SFIO, a statutory corporate fraud investigating agency, said: “The petitioner SFIO has filed the captioned petition against the final judgement of the Delhi High Court dated December 13, 2021, whereby the high court erroneously granted interim relief to respondents 1 to 3 by staying the operation, implementation, and execution of the investigation orders dated October 31, 2018 and October 27, 2020 passed by the Central government and stayed all subsequent actions and proceedings initiated pursuant thereof including coercive proceedings and look out notices issued against the respondents.”

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