Good move by SC! Persons whose departure is detrimental to the nation’s economic interest ought to be stopped
The Supreme Court has stayed a Bombay High Court order permitting Suman Vijay Gupta, the chairperson of a Mumbai-based private company Ushdev International Ltd (UIL), to travel to the UAE after taking note of a case in which she is accused of defrauding State Bank of India (SBI) of Rs.3,300 crore.
Gupta renounced her citizenship of India and acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Dominica after UIL after declaring UIL a non-performing asset (NPA).
UIL was sanctioned various credit facilities by the SBI, through which the company managed by Gupta and her son availed loans totaling Rs,3,300 crores. It said UIL’s account was declared NPA and a resolution plan for Rs.225 crore has been approved by the NCLAT.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter for urgent orders before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and comprising Justice P S Narasimha.
Mehta submitted that Gupta took up the citizenship of the Dominican Republic after the declaration of her account as Non-Performing Asset (NPA), and she has been permitted to travel by the orders dated March 10, and 14 of a division bench of the high court. “It has been submitted that this order was despite a contrary view which was taken on July 3, 2020, by a coordinate Division Bench of the High Court,” noted the apex court.
Staying the high court orders, the bench said: “Pending further orders, there shall be a stay of the operation of the impugned orders dated March 10, 2023, and March 14, 2023.”
The apex court’s order came on a plea by the State Bank of India against the Bombay High Court orders dated March 10 and 14.
Mehta submitted that they had faced a bad experience with travelling on undertaking and added that she is a Chairperson of a company with a loan of over Rs.3,000 crore, which has now become nearly Rs.3,700 crores. He added that SBI declared the company as an NPA and as soon it was declared NPA, she renounced Indian citizenship and took the citizenship of the Dominican Republic, a country with whom India has no extradition treaty.
The apex court was informed that a lookout circular was issued under the office memorandum and it was challenged before the high court.
After reviewing the arguments presented, the top court issued a notice on the State Bank of India’s plea and scheduled the petition for further hearing on March 24.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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