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'In utter disregard of law,' SC sets aside stay on probe against India Bulls, others [Read Judgment]

By Jhanak Singh      14 February, 2024 07:55 PM      0 Comments
In utter disregard of law SC sets aside stay on probe against India Bulls others

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has set aside the Allahabad High Court's orders staying the investigation launched by the Enforcement Directorate and police against India Bulls Housing Finance Ltd and others for alleged fraudulent misappropriation of properties worth hundreds of crores.

The top court expressed its serious concern over the blanket stay on probe at nascent stage in utter disregard of law.

A bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Prasanna B Varale said despite the legal position settled by this court in catena of decisions, the High Court has passed the orders staying the investigations of the FIRs and ECIR in question.

"The statutory power has to be exercised sparingly with circumspection and in the rarest of rare cases," the bench said.

"Suffice it to say that judicial comity and judicial discipline demands that higher courts should follow the law. The extraordinary and inherent powers of the court do not confer any arbitrary jurisdiction," the bench added.

The court noted the High Court has also granted blanket orders restraining the arrest without the accused applying for the anticipatory bail under Section 438 of Criminal Procedure Code.

Dealing with petitions by the Enforcement Directorate and others, the bench said, "It hardly needs to be reiterated that the inherent powers under Section 482 of CrPC do not confer any arbitrary jurisdiction on the High Court to act according to whims or caprice."

The HC by three separate orders provided interim relief to Neeraj Tyagi, Reena Bagga of IHFL and M3M India Pvt Ltd and others in FIRs initiated by Shipra Group for fraudulent sale of mortgaged properties. A yet another case was related to transfer of shares.

The Enforcement Directorate contended the High Court passed the orders without assigning any cogent reasons under the guise of following an order passed by this court on July 4, 2023 providing relief to the respondents, even though a review petition against the said order was pending.

Concurring with the contention, the bench said, "This court had passed the said order leaving it open to the High Court to decide the writ petitions on their own merits".

The bench said it would not express its opinion on merits as writ petitions are pending before the High Court.

The court, however, said that higher courts should follow the law to ensure judicial discipline and not to use their extraordinary and inherent powers to act as per its whims and caprice.
 

[Read Judgment]



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