The Delhi High Court refused to stay a possible coercive process against Switzerland-based accused firm Swiss Timing for not putting in appearance in a graft case involving the award of a Commonwealth Games-related contract to it allegedly at an inflated cost.
“There cannot be a stay on the trial court proceedings,” said Justice Mukta Gupta said while asking CBI to file a status report in two weeks giving details of its actions in the case.
Justice Gupta was hearing the petition of Swiss Timing seeking a stay on possible coercive measures against it by the lower court and alleged that it has not been served with the summons as per the law dealing with offshore companies.
“Improper service of summons outside India impinges on the sovereignty of that country (Switzerland) if it is not in accordance of the law,” senior advocate Amit Desai,appearing for the foreign firm,said.
“Till date,CBI has not been able to establish that it has served the summons on the company in Switzerland as there was no proof in this regard and it (CBI) misled the lower court on the issue. No order can be passed in contravention of treaty obligations vis-a-vis foreign nationals,” he said,adding that any coercive measure will have world-wide repurcussions.
The court asked CBI and the Swiss firm to file written submissions and posted the matter for hearing on January 30.
CBI earlier said that it had served summons to Swiss Timing in the manner prescribed under the treaty between two countries but the firm being under the jurisdiction of Switzerland,it would take time in bringing it to the jurisdiction of the Indian court.
Sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and other co-accused are accused of illegally granting the contract to Swiss Timing which caused a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.