PIC Credit: BL Soni
PIC Credit: BL Soni

Mumbai: Observing that the loan defaulters of the crisis-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank will have to repay the borrowed amount, the Bombay High Court on Thursday reserved its orders on a petition seeking immediate sale of assets of the Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) group.

A bench of Justices Ranjit More and Surendra Tavade also said that the repayment of the loan would be in the interest of the bank and also the depositors.

The bench was seized with a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate, Sarosh Damania, seeking immediate sale of assets owned by HDIL group’s director Sarang Wadhawan. These assets are presently in the custody of the city police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Having perused an affidavit filed by Sarang Wadhawan, Justice More said, “You (HDIL) have taken a loan and you have to repay it, thus, we are of the opinion that your assets must be sold at the earliest. We think that this will be in the interest of the bank and its depositors.”

In his affidavit, Wadhawan had not only listed his group’s assets (both encumbered and unencumbered) but had given a ‘no objection’ for the immediate sale of his encumbered assets for recovery of money payable to the bank.

During the course of hearing, senior counsel Vikram Chaudhary, appearing for HDIL told the court that his client’s liability to the bank is Rs 4,355 crore and his encumbered assets are valued at Rs 11,000 crore.

“It would be more than sufficient,” Chaudhary submitted, adding that till then, the court must grant bail to both Sarang and Rakesh Wadhawan, so as to enable them help the agencies to dispose of the assets.

The request was, however, turned down by the bench. Meanwhile, ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar told the bench that the encumbered properties need to be valued as in some properties there are third-party rights.

The bench, accordingly, closed the matter for orders.

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