In a relief to three top officials of beleaguered real estate major Unitech Ltd, Delhi High Court Monday stayed the execution of non-bailable warrants against them issued by a trial court on a private complaint alleging delay in handing over of flats to buyers. Justice Mukta Gupta granted the relief to Unitech Ltd’s Chairman Ramesh Chandra and Managing Directors Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra after their counsel assured the high court that they would appear before the trial court on the next date of hearing on October 26.
“Considering the fact that counsel for the petitioners says that petitioners (three officials) will appear before the trial court on the next date of hearing on October 26, till the next date of hearing the execution of non-bailable warrant (NBWs) is stayed,” the court said. Senior advocates Sudhir Nandrajog and Dayan Krishnan, who appeared for the Chandras, told the court that trial court had on September 5 summoned the three on October 4 in the complaint case by various investors who have alleged delay in handing over of flats in a housing project in Noida.
Nandrajog said since the summons were not served to them, they were unable to appear before it on October 4 and the trial court had then issued bailable warrants against the trio and fixed the matter for further hearing on October 17. “The summons issued against us was not served. Then, bailable warrants were issued and that too was not served on us. On October 17, the trial court issued NBWs against us. Neither summon, nor bailable warrant were served,” he said.
To this, the court, which also sought the reply of state by December 15 on the pleas filed by Chandras through their counsel Saket Sikri, asked “Why these bailable warrants were not served?”
Responding to this, the counsel said “they were out of Delhi due to business exigencies as they keep travelling due to their work”. However, the counsel appearing for the state claimed that summons were served upon them and after they did not appear before the trial court, warrants were issued. He said the summons were affixed on their residential address.
During the hearing, Nandrajog countered the state’s claims saying it was not clear from the records as to when the summons were served as they were not present in their home. He said without execution of bailable warrant, the trial court should not have issued the NBWs against them. Krishnan, representing Ramesh Chandra, said his client was not involved in day-to-day affairs of the company and, keeping in view his age, he should be exempted from personal appearance before the trial court.
The court said, “How can this court grant him exemption. He has to appear before the trial court and seek bail”. However, it said, “after appearance before trial court on October 26, in case the petitioner files application seeking exemption from personal appearance in future, the court will consider it as per the law.”