The Bombay High Court has called for records of the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) case from the special court after an accused sought bail stating that the special court has not taken cognisance of the case for two years.
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) had filed the charge sheet in the case in 2019.
A plea has been filed by Hari Sankaran, former vice-chairman of IL&FS and an accused in the scam. He has sought that the HC must set aside all orders passed by the trial court and also that he be released from prison after being held in detention illegally. He has been in custody since April 2019.
The prosecution informed the HC that some of the accused, other than Sankaran, had filed an application seeking that the cognisance of the charge sheet should not be taken on the grounds that the sanction granted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) for the prosecution was not proper. Also, the charge sheet filed is voluminous and there had been five transfers of judges since 2019.
The central government, through MCA, had asked SFIO to investigate the affairs of IL&FS and its subsidiary companies under various sections of the companies act. After investigation, SFIO arrested the accused and others on charges of adopting various modus operandi, abusing their positions, flouted regulatory or legal stipulations for Non-Banking Finance Companies and company policies in its lending operations to various external corporate groups as well as its group companies to the detriment of the company and its creditors.
The MCA had then granted sanction to SFIO to prosecute all the accused.
Sankaran and other accused challenged the sanction by the MCA contending that the 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.
The other accused, based on HC order, filed an application before the special court objecting to the cognisance being taken by the lower court.
The application is pending before the special court, which has adjourned the hearing on the cognisance of the charge sheet sine die (indefinitely).