The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by the SBI seeking an urgent hearing in the matter. (Representational image: Reuters/File)
The SBI had approached the Supreme Court challenging an order of the HC — where the chairperson of a defaulter company was enabled to travel abroad — on apprehension that the person might become a fugitive
The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed an order passed by the Bombay High Court that enabled the chairperson of a defaulter company to travel abroad. It was hearing a plea by the State Bank of India not to allow the multi-crore loan defaulter to travel outside of India.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the SBI seeking an urgent hearing in the matter. Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, appearing for the bank, stated that the petition filed against Ushdev International Ltd chairperson Suman Vijay Gupta – before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud – raised the apprehension that the person might become a fugitive.
Gupta had filed a petition before the high court seeking permission to travel abroad, which was allowed on submitting an undertaking. The HC had also asked the defaulter to file a detailed itinerary with contact details and addresses overseas.
“The immigration authorities at all ports of departure, including all airports, will permit the petitioner passage and permit the petitioner to take flights out of the country irrespective of whether the State Bank of India has notified them or not and irrespective of whether this suspension is noted in the immigration authorities’ systems or not,” the order read.
The court was told that the company took a loan of Rs 3,300 crore and after the loan was declared to be a non-performing asset, Gupta gave up Indian citizenship and became a citizen of the Dominican Republic. The bench, also comprising Justice Narasimha, was also told that after the loan became an NPA, lookout circulars were issued against Gupta.
The HC had stayed the lookout circulars against Gupta until April 11, 2023. Mehta submitted that there was a possibility that Gupta could become untraceable, considering the fact that India had no extradition treaty with the Dominican Republic. This prompted the court to issue a notice in the plea filed by SBI while staying the HC order.
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