The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday moved the Supreme Court in an urgent plea seeking a stay on the Bombay High Court order which came as a relief for the father-son duo Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan, directors in Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), who were allowed to be released from Arthur Road Jail after spending almost three months there.
The Bombay High Court order, though allowed them to be released from jail, stated that they will be “in-custody” in their respective residences in Bandra with guards stationed outside at all times. The guards would be responsible to ensure that the Wadhwans are not allowed outside of the jurisdiction set in place by the High Court.
The High Court also ordered a three-member committee to be set up to evaluate and dispose off all assets of HDIL. The three-member committee would be headed by Retd Justice S. Radhakrishnan. Directions were laid down by the High Court on how this Committee would function. According to the Bombay High Court order, the properties owned, controlled and managed will be identified by the Committee and a list of depositors would be prepared.
“We are conscious of the plight of lakhs and lakhs of depositors who put their hard-earned money and life savings in the PMC Bank. Extraordinary situations warrant extraordinary measures to ensure speedy recovery of the money” the Bombay High Court had observed.
The Enforcement Directorate through the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta today urgently moved the Supreme Court challenging the above order. The Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde agreed to hear the plea on an urgent basis and asked the Solicitor to come back to Court at 2:00 pm on Thursday for the arguments.
In the interim, the Supreme Court granted a stay on the Bombay High Court order until the arguments were heard by the Supreme Court on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate as well as the Wadhwans on whether or not the Bombay High Court order should be upheld.
The interim stay now put in place by the Supreme Court, comes as a setback to the Wadhwans who will have to be lodged in Arthur Road Jail until the final decision by the Supreme Court on the issue of their release. The two were arrested on October 3, 2019.