Supreme Court to hear plea filed by Serious Fraud Investigation Office challenging order of the Delhi High Court order staying the lookout circular issued by SFIO against Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta: The total amount involved is 1 lakh crore. The High Court has noted that considering layers of company involved in the probe could not be completed in 3 months and took years.
Justice Chandrachud asked the stand of Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Sahara Housing, "What is your stand Mr Sibal, This a very extraordinary order of staying an investigation."
Sibal submits that this act came into 2013 and this investigation relates to 2011.
Sibal: There are 3 companies and extension is sought on for the Sahara Q Shop Unique Products repeatedly and no extension is sought for the other two companies.
Sibal: Now while they sought the second last extension they included everything and asked for the Sahara Group of Companies. Whereas, on the last extension sought, that was again for the Sahara Q Shop.
Sibal: There must be some record for the Board of Directors to be related.
Justice Chandrachud: How can they before the investigation say that the Board of Directors are accustomed to the act?
Justice Chandrachud: Once they say that the Chairman of the company is in full control and others are the family members and salaried employees.
Sibal: This is unrelated to these 3 companies.
Justice Chandrachud: We'll say that these are the submissions, we'll not go into the writ petition as it is pending but will stay the order. Let the High Court hear the challenge expeditiously.
Order: The High Court has stayed all the investigation proceedings including the coercive proceedings and look out notices till the next date of hearing.
Order: The High Court has recorded 3 reasons for coming to the conclusion that the investigation required to be stayed
(1) The investigation of a company should be completed within a stipulated period
(2) Order authorising the investigation into 6 other companies is in violation of Section 219
(3) Order do not furnish the reason to compel the Central Government to order an investigation.
Order: It is not appropriate or proper for this court to adjudicate in this matter as the matter is pending before the High Court. Undoubtedly the High Court has power to pass such extraordinary orders.
Order: The finding of the High Court staying the investigation was not warranted.