The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought a response of the Centre, SEBI, and RBI on a plea seeking to restrain the promoter of Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd from selling or transferring any further stake in the company.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notices to the Ministries of Finance, Corporate Affairs, National Housing Bank, Reserve Bank of India, Serious Fraud Investigation Office, Securities, and Exchange Board of India, IBHFL, and its promoter Sameer Gehlaut on the application filed by an NGO.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on March 21.
The application filed by NGO Citizens Whistle Blowers Forum sought to restrain Sameer Gehlaut from selling or transferring any further stake in the company.
The NGO, through advocate Shadan Farasat, said Gehlaut has recently sold half his stock (amounting to 11.9 per cent) as of December 17, 2021, thus bringing down his shareholding to 9.8 per cent from 21.69 per cent of the respondent company.
“It is pertinent to mention here that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already issued a request letter dated March 20, 2020, to the Deputy Director of Immigration, Bureau of Immigration requesting that a Look Out Circular (LOC) be issued against Sameer Gehlaut as he has been found to be involved in the Yes Bank money laundering case in case…. under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) registered by the ED,” the application, filed through advocate Kamini Jaiswal, claimed.
The application alleged that by selling his stake, Gehlaut was seemingly attempting to release or absolve himself of any accountability of his illegal activities as a founder, promoter, and director of IBHFL wherein he round-tripped funds of the company through a circuitous route into accounts owned by himself and his wife.
The fresh application was filed in a pending Public Interest Litigation seeking an investigation by relevant authorities into the illegalities and irregularities in the dealings of the company, Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFI).
The petition alleged that the promoters of IBHFI have been engaged in round-tripping of funds wherein huge loans taken from public sector banks and raised through IPOs was advanced as loans to various loss-making/ shell/ bogus companies of various business houses and as quid pro quo, part of that loan was routed back into the personal accounts of the promoter or his family members.