High Court (India)

October 07, 2019

Serious Fraud Investigation Office Opposes Bail Plea In Delhi HC By Bhushan Steel’s Former Chairman Brij Bhushan Singal


[ By Bobby Anthony ]

Delhi-High-Court

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has opposed anticipatory bail pleas filed by Bhushan Steel's former chairman Brij Bhushan Singal and his daughter-in-law in the Delhi High Court, after being summoned as the accused in a fraud case.

The SFIO has argued that the apprehension of the accused that they will be arrested when they appear before the trial court is unfounded. It stated that they should appear before the trial court and seek bail from the court, which has summoned them on October 14.

Incidentally, Brij Bhushan Singal and his son Neeraj have been accused of siphoning off funds from Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL) funds.

It may be recalled that the case against the company, its former promoters and others was filed on a complaint by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which functions under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

In 2016, the MCA had directed the SFIO to probe into the affairs of Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL).

After the SFIO probe report was submitted to the MCA, it directed initiation of prosecution against all the accused mentioned in the report and thereafter the SFIO filed a complaint in the trial court on July 1.

On August 16, the trial court took cognizance of the offenses, under the Companies Act and the Indian Penal Code, mentioned in the complaint and issued summons to all the accused.

The SFIO complaint had alleged that the company’s former promoters manipulated stocks in the books of accounts to show inflated figures on the basis of false valuation reports.

The SFIO also alleged that the ex-promoters opened fake letters of credit and created fake vouchers to siphon off funds from the company.

An SFIO probe team had also told the court that the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Punjab National Bank (PNB) were guilty of ‘dereliction in the performance of their duties’ while assessing the credit worthiness of Bhushan Steel (BSL), allowing the debt-laden steelmaker to avail credit that later bled the lenders.

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