Thursday, October 6, 2022

Rajasthan High Court stays arrest warrant against Alok Dhir in SBI loan scam

Senior Counsel further submitted that even in the FIR, the police after investigation has filed the negative final report stating therein that the case is of civil nature.

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The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday stayed an arrest warrant issued against Alok Dhir in relation to the State Bank of India (SBI) loan scam.

A single-judge bench of Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Alok Dhir & Ors. Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that on identical facts, an FIR was registered at Jaipur, wherein the same transaction was questioned and the Supreme Court its order dated October 23, 2017 quashed the FIR.

The Senior Counsel further submitted that even in the FIR, the police after investigation has filed the negative final report stating therein that the case is of civil nature.

He further contended that the chronology of events shows that the matter is of civil nature and the allegations levelled in the FIR have already been adjudicated right up to the Supreme Court and the same has been decided in their favour.

Singhvi submitted that the petitioners are ready and willing to appear before the trial court but the petitioners have been summoned by issuing the warrant of arrest straightaway without having been summoned earlier to this. The Court issued notice to the respondents and granted four weeks’ time to file reply to the petition.

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“From the overall facts and circumstances of the case, it is borne out that the proceedings arise out of the FIR, wherein, the allegations levelled against the petitioners are almost the same as that of the FIR No. 605/2017 and are related to the same transactions. It is noted that the proceedings arise out of the non-repayment of the loan of Rs 25 crore, the proceedings undertaken before the NCLT, NCLAT, and the Supreme Court appear to be of civil nature. Further in FIR, the police after thorough investigation has given the negative final report,”

-the court observed.

“Taking into account all the facts and circumstance of the case, it is ordered that in the meantime and till the next date of hearing, effect and operation of the order dated February 12, 2020 and consequential orders dated March 31, 2021 and October 1, 2021 passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jaisalmer shall remain stayed to the extent of summoning the petitioners through warrant of arrest,”

-the court ordered.

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The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on December 13, 2021. In this matter, the FIR was registered in 2015 in connection with the Jaisalmer Hotel Project, which was financed by SBI in 2007.

The police had initially filed a closure report after investigation, thereafter, the complainant filed a protest petition which was allowed by the Magistrate of Jaisalmer by an order dated February 12, 2020 on the ground that cognizable offences against the petitioners were made out under Sections 420, 409 and 120B, IPC. The Magistrate had directed that after compliance with Section 204 CrPC, the petitioners must be summoned through an arrest warrant.

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