The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Bombay High Court decision to shift Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) directors Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, who are accused in the multi-crore Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank fraudulent loan disbursal scam, to their residence from the Arthur Road Jail to facilitate the sale of their assets.
A Bench led by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde, following an urgent mention by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, froze the operation of the January 15 order of the High Court.
Mr. Mehta said the import of the unusual order allowing the duo to go home was the same as granting them bail.
The direction to allow the Wadhawans to go home with two guards was part of the HC order appointing a committee led by Justice S. Radhakrishnan for the speedy disposal of the assets. The court reasoned that the duo would be able to better help the cause of disposal of their assets by being available at home rather than in the jail.
The High Court had even barred lower courts from entertaining the bail applications of the duo until the next hearing.
It directed that the Wadhawans would remain at home under the constant watch of the guards. They would travel with the guards for ensuring compliance of the directions of the committee and for assisting in the process of sale. It had barred the duo from leaving the State.
According to a communication from the PMC Bank to the Joint Commissioner of Police, Economic Offences Wing, Mumbai, the dues of the companies owned directly and indirectly by the two accused are about 4,635.62 crore.
The High Court is hearing a plea by a PMC investor to either sell or auction their assets to re-pay investors/depositors.
The accused have already disclosed the details of their companies properties. They have said on affidavit in the High Court that their sale would be sufficient to cover the dues.
The FIR alleges that, from 2008 to August 2019, various officials of the PMC bank and other unknown persons along with the promoters and executives of the HDIL had committed various acts of criminal conspiracy by disbursing loan in a fraudulent manner and falsified the account books.