Libertatem Magazine

Delhi High Court Direct Banks To Hold-off Classification of Accounts as Fraudulent

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The order had come by way of a few writ petitions filed by Former Executive Officer and Director of Reliance Infrastructure, Punit Garg. The Petition had challenged the recent move of Union Bank of India and Indian Overseas to mark the account of RTL (Reliance telecom Ltd) and RCOM (Reliance Communication Ltd) as fraudulent. The High Court heard the petition, in the present case of Punit Garg and Anr. v. Union Bank of India and Ors.

Facts of the Case

It had been reported that three Anil Ambani Companies i.e. Reliance Communication, Reliance Infratel and Reliance Telecom collectively owned lenders the amount of Rs.86,188 crore. It was further reported that the amount was ten times more than what was owed by Vijay Mallya or Nirav Modi. In addition to that the State Bank of India (SBI), Union Bank of India (UBI) and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) had also marked RCOM and RTL accounts as fraudulent. Further, the Banks had also been looking to launch a deeper probe into the transaction from the accounts of the three companies. Due to the same, the present Petition was filed against the above Banks to seek Interim Protection by the Court.

Court’s Order

A Single Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad heard the Petition and granted Interim Protection to the Petitioners. After the same, the High Court of Delhi ordered the Banks to maintain status quo until the next day of hearing before the Roster Bench on 13th January 2021. 

The Court further directed the Investigating agencies that they were free to investigate or take any steps or file complaint proceedings against the two companies whose accounts had been declared as fraud independent of the order.

The Court had also said that the Banks were free to issue a show-cause notice to the Companies/Petitioner. And thereafter to give a necessary hearing in the matter through video-conferencing.

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