Supreme Court: Stayed High Court Order Allowing Defaulter Of Multi-Crore Loan To Travel Abroad, On SBI’s Plea

The Supreme Court in the case State Bank of India vs Suman Vijay Gupta observed and has argued in a plea filed the State Bank of India to stay an order passed by the Bombay High Court which allowed the defaulter for travelling abroad.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Chandrachud was hearing the matter wherein seeking urgent hearing, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, appearing for the SBI raised the apprehension that the person might become a fugitive. The present plea was being filed against Ms.Suman Vijay Gupta, the Chairperson of Ushdev International Limited.
The CJI agreed to hear the case, while considering the urgency of the matter, though the matter was not otherwise listed for the day.
It has also been told by the SG to the bench comprising CJI Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha that Gupta who being the chairperson of a company which took a loan for an amount of Rs 3300 crores. Thus, after the said loan was being declared to be a Non-Performing Asset, she also has renounced the citizenship of India and got the citizenship of Dominican Republic, a tax haven.
Further, it has been informed by SG to the bench that the CBI is investigating into the loan matter, after the loan became NPA and Look Out Circulars were issued against Gupta. The petition has been filed by her before the Bombay High Court seeking permission to travel abroad. Therefore, the Bombay High Court permitted her to travel abroad on giving an undertaking, concerns have been raised by Solicitor General that she might become untraceable if she is allowed to leave India, particularly wherein considering the fact that India has no extradition treaty with Dominican Republic.
The bench stayed the order of High Court, while issuing the notice on the petition.
The division bench comprising of Justice GS Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale in an impugned order of the High Court as follows:
This court has no such reason to prohibit the travel simply on the ground that the Petitioner wjho being a foreign national. Indeed, it seems to the court for raising more questions than it answers because for an Indian citizen action could be taken under the Passports Act, but this is clearly not possible in the case of a person who is holding a
foreign passport.

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