Supreme Court orders probe into ‘collusion of Tihar Jail officials with Unitech ex-promoters’

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed investigation into the alleged acts of collusion of Tihar Jail officials with Unitech’s imprisoned ex-promoters Sanjay and Ajay Chandra.

A Special Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah ordered criminal and corruption cases to be registered against the prison officers based on the recommendations made by Delhi Police Commissioner Rajesh Asthana in a sealed cover report.

Also read | Probe report on Unitech promoters, Supreme Court tells Delhi Police Commissioner

The court also directed the immediate suspension of the prison officers under suspicion in the police chief’s report.

The order came in the background of an Enforcement Directorate revelation that the Chandras were operating their businesses from behind the prison walls.

The court had shifted the brothers to separate jails in Maharashtra.

On Wednesday, the court admitted confidential reports filed by the ED and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). The case has been listed next on October 21.

Also read | ED arrests former Unitech promoter's wife and father

The hearing saw an exchange of words between Unitech's lawyer, senior advocate Vikas Singh, and the Bench.

Mr. Singh took objection to “ex parte orders” being passed by the court, insinuating that the court was ‘running’ companies now. Mr. Singh said the court should not pass any orders which it may ‘repent’ later.

A visibly annoyed Justice Chandrachud questioned Mr. Singh's choice of words while addressing the court.

“Is this a way to argue? Saying the court will repent in future for its order?” he asked Mr. Singh.

Justice Shah cautioned the senior lawyer from raising his voice at the Bench and making allegations against the Supreme Court.

The court also refused Mr. Singh’s repeated requests for a copy of the report by forensic auditors, Grant Thornton, to make a proper defence. The Bench said the report cannot be shared when the case was still under investigation.

The Chandras are accused of siphoning home buyers’ money. The top court in its October 2017 order had asked them to deposit ₹750 crore with the apex court registry by December 31, 2017.

The brothers have argued in their defence that they have paid in excess of ₹750 crore and should be granted bail.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 2:09:48 AM |

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