A SPECIAL court recently rejected an application filed by Yashovardhan Birla, seeking permission to travel abroad. Birla, the chairman of Yash Birla Group, had to deposit his passport with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in March 2017 after being granted interim relief in a cheating case filed against Birla Power Solutions. Birla had submitted before the court that he intended to visit USA, Israel and Europe for a period of three months to attend meetings for creation and development of business.
He had prayed for permission and return of his passport by submitting that the case was on the “verge of a settlement”. Birla had also submitted that he was a non-executive chairman of Birla Power Solutions and was not responsible for its day-to-day management or operation.
The EOW opposed the plea by claiming that since he is on interim bail, he is not likely to return to India to face the trial. The investigating officer of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office also objected to the grant of permission. “Though it is stated that the applicant (Birla) desires to go abroad to attend business meetings, admittedly Birla Power Solutions Ltd. is under liquidation. In the facts and circumstances of the particular case…it will not be just and proper to grant permission to applicant at this stage to travel abroad,” the court has observed. The EOW is investigating into the claims of investors of default of Rs 277 crore between 2008 and 2013 by companies associated with Yash Birla Group.