SC gives go ahead for ‘full-fledged’ probe against ex-Unitech bosses

Irked by the submissions made by the counsel of ex-Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave go ahead to the ED, SFIO and Delhi Police to proceed with ‘full-fledged’ investigation against the Chandras’ family members in the case related to duping of Unitech home buyers.

A bench comprising justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah was not impressed by the submissions made by senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the Chandra brothers.

Singh submitted, “I don’t want your lordships to repent later that you did not take timely action. I am sure the court has nothing personal against the Chandras.”

He urged the court to provide them access to the forensic auditor Grant Thornton report and requested the court not to proceed in an ex-parte manner.

Singh said his clients should be given a chance to show that there is no diversion of funds and if it is found in trial that there is no diversion of funds, then can the clock be turned backwards?

Singh further added, “How many companies will this court run? Amrapali you are running, Unitech you are running, Supertech you are running. You have arrested my father, my wife, and also my children… put us all behind bars. At least let me defend the Grant Thornton report.”

At this juncture, Chandrachud warned Singh not to make such allegations against the court, saying: “Before you make allegations against this court, what is this language? What is this repent later on? Listen to me, Is this the way of addressing the court?”

Shah replied that there were reasons for not disclosing the grounds for their arrest, saying: “Don’t say such things and level allegations against this court. We never expected this from Mr Vikas Singh, with all seriousness.”

Chandrachud told Singh that “we can see that the client has not briefed you well.” To which, Singh said, “I have taken a lot of briefings.”

At the end of a stormy hearing, the top court gave a firm go ahead to ED, SFIO and Delhi Police to proceed with full-fledged investigation against former Unitech bosses Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, Sanjay’s wife Preeti Chandra and father Ramesh Chandra in the money laundering case against the Unitech group.

The top court also declined to pass on the forensic auditor report, saying, “It will not be in accordance of law to provide underlying material, which forms subject matter of investigation, to the accused at this stage.”

The bench also ordered immediate suspension and a full-fledged probe against some Tihar jail officials, who were identified by Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana in his report for providing undue facilities inside the jail to the Chandra brothers.

Delhi Police said that they will also register a fresh case under Prevention of Corruption Act and criminal conspiracy against the Chandras and Tihar jail officials.

The top court asked the Home Ministry to file a report in this connection.

Earlier, Sanjay and Ajay Chandra were shifted from Tihar jail to Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail and Tajola jail following a report by the ED that they colluded with Tihar jail authorities.