The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has contended before the Bombay High Court that a trial court can pass an order extending remand of an accused in the absence of cognisance of the charge sheet.
The argument was made by Hiten Venegaonkar, counsel for the SFIO while replying to a plea filed by Hari Sankaran, former vice-chairman of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) and an accused in the scam seeking bail stating that the special court has not taken cognisance of the case since two years.
The SFIO had filed the charge sheet in the case in 2019.
Sankaran has sought that the HC set aside all orders passed by the trial court and also be released from prison after holding the detention illegal. He has been in custody since April 2019.
Opposing the plea, Venegaonkar argued that the law cannot be read out with a break, it has to be a continuous process.
Besides, according to the Criminal Procedure Code, the trial court has the power to pass remand orders even in the absence of cognisance of the charge sheet, he further argued.
Justifying the delay, the prosecution has said some accused, other than Sankaran, had filed an application seeking that the cognisance of the charge sheet should not be taken on the ground that the sanction granted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) for the prosecution was not proper.
Sankaran and other accused have opposed the sanction granted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to SFIO to prosecute the accused.
They have contended that MCA did not apply its mind while granting a sanction based on a 32,000-page report in 24 hours of receipt which was accepted by the High Court.
Also, the charge sheet filed is voluminous and there had been five transfers of judges since 2019.
Justice Revati Dere has reserved Sankaran’s plea for order.