The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to Punjab National Bank (PNB) and two others on pleas by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in connection with alleged siphoning-off funds of Bhushan Steel Ltd.
A bench of Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi said: “Issue notice. Since the concerned respondents (Rajesh Kumar Yaduvanshi and Ajoy Kumar Deb) appear on caveat through Pinaki Mishra, senior counsel, instructed by Manikya Khanna, in SLP(Crl.) No.3252/2021, and R. Basant, senior counsel, instructed by Sanjay Kapur, counsel, in SLP(Crl.) No.7720/2021, service of notices upon the said respondents is dispensed with.”
“Let notice be issued to other respondents in the matters. The respondents are at liberty to file their response to these special leave petitions within three weeks. Rejoinder affidavits, if any, be filed within two weeks’ thereafter. List the matters for disposal before the appropriate Court on December 6.”
The top court considered the SFIO’s submissions that the accused were complicit in the case connected with the fund embezzlement. The SFIO moved the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court order to quash the summons issued to Yaduvanshi in the case.
Allegations were made that promoters of Bhushan Steel Ltd in connivance with their employees and several other entities fraudulently siphoned off funds from the company.
Yaduvanshi was PNB’s nominee on the Board of Directors of Bhushan Steel Ltd. and the question was regarding his prosecution for the alleged fraud committed by the company and others. In August 2019, the trial court summoned Yaduvanshi to appear in the complaint case lodged by the SFIO against Bhushan Steel Ltd and others, but the high court said Yaduvanshi cannot be summoned solely for the reason that he was a nominee director of Bhushan Steel Ltd.