April 28, 2021 9:36:29 pm
In an interim relief to Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited (IHFL), the Bombay High Court has stayed the probe against the mortagage lender and its key officials with regard to an April 13 FIR filed at Wada, Palghar district, saying the complaint on which the case was filed “appeared to be malafide and deficient”.
The FIR, accusing the promoters and directors of the company of siphoning off funds and committing accounting irregularities, was lodged following Palghar magistrate’s April 7 direction based on a complaint by Ashutosh Kamble, a shareholder of IHFL. In his complaint to the magistrate, Kamble had claimed that he suffered a devaluation of his shares due to alleged misdealing by IHFL between 2014 and 2020.
However, the HC on Tuesday held that facts on record “prima facie raise suspicion about bonafides of the complainant” and that such “modus operandi was undertaken to foist Wada Magistrate jurisdiction,” while no part of the transaction was shown to have been undertaken there. The HC held that the complaint appeared to be malafide and deficient and stayed investigation by Wada Police till further hearing in June-end.
The division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale, while hearing the writ plea by IHFL challenging the magistrate court’s order and seeking to quash the FIR, also noted that “prevailing serious Covid-19 condition in Maharashtra” also needs to be taken into consideration to stay the probe. Since the nature of alleged offences pertained to financial and economic offences of serious nature, a probe by specialised agencies was required and local Wada Police may not be equipped to deal with the same, it added.
Therefore, such a probe by local police would lead to petitioners being called to the local police station,
causing unnecessary harassment, the HC noted.
The HC issued notices to the respondents — the police and the complainant — to submit a reply to the IHFL plea by June 28, when it will hear the case next.
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