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Govt urges SC not to give direct relief in scam cases

July 10, 2020 06:48 AM

COURTESY HTGovt urges SC not to give direct relief in scam cases

Neeraj Chauhan, Murali Krishnan and Sunetra Choudhury

letters@hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : The Centre on July 6 filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court suggesting there was a trend of people accused in high-value economic offences approaching the top court directly — instead of an appropriate court — to get protection from arrest, and that in 44 such instances, the court had granted relief to them, affecting the ability of investigative agencies to go about their probes into these cases.

It wanted the court to address the issue, vacate the interim relief orders, and ask the petitioners to follow the prescribed legal route by appearing before lower courts.

The affidavit was filed in a matter pertaining to Bhushan Steel Ltd, involving the company’s former CFO Nittin Johari, and may be taken up by a bench headed by CJI SA Bobde on July 24.

The list of cases appended in the affidavit include the Bhushan Steel Ltd case involving an amount of ~20,000 crore, a bank fraud case against Nilesh Parekh of Shree Ganesh Jewellers worth ~2,762 crore, a case against Vikram Kothari of Rotomac worth ~3,770 crore. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta brought up the issue on Wednesday, speaking of how agencies are finding it difficult to do their work because of the accused often approaching SC for relief -- and getting it.

Mehta referred to around 60 cases under PMLA, Companies Act and GST Act, etc, including the case against former finance minister P Chidambaram. To be sure, Chidambaram’s case may be different. The former finance minister first moved the Delhi HC for bail. After the court rejected it, he appealed to the Supreme Court. He adopted the same route for anticipatory bail

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