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SC stays HC order to shift promoters of HDIL from jail

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Bombay high court order releasing HDIL promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang, accused in Rs 4,355 crore PMC Bank scam, from Arthur Road prison and putting them in custody at their residences with two guards each to facilitate the sale of their assets for recovery of investors’ money.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta mentioned the Enforcement Directorate’s appeal against the high court’s order before a bench of CJ S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, who were initially posting it for hearing on Friday. However, Mehta convinced them about the urgency of the situation and said the high court had passed the order on a PIL and even allowed the Wadhawans to travel for the purpose of sale of assets.

The bench allowed the ED’s appeal to be registered, took up the matter an hour after the SG sought urgent hearing and stayed that part of the HC order which directed shifting of the Wadhawans from prison to their residences. The ED alleged that various officials of PMC Bank, along with the promoters and executives of real estate firm HDIL, were in criminal conspiracy, leading to disbursement of loans in a fraudulent manner and falsification of account books. “Such a relief (by the HC) could not have been granted in a PIL when the accused persons were in judicial custody in relation to a serious bank fraud of more than Rs 4,355 crore,” the ED said.

Mehta clarifiedthat the ED had no grievance against the HC decision to constitute a three-member panel headed by former SC judge K S Radhakrishnan for sale of assets of accused persons.

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