A bench, headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur, said the purpose of probe was to scrutinise the serious allegations made regarding investments by IFCI.
“In view of the matter and for the aforesaid reasons, we are of the view that it is necessary and proper to issue a direction both to the union ministry of finance and union ministry of corporate affairs to ensure that a proper scrutiny is carried out in respect of the allegations which form the subject matter of these proceedings... including on the basis of the inspection report of the Registrar Of Companies (ROC) dated 8 January, 2013,” the bench, also comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud, said.
“We direct the Union Government to ensure a due and proper scrutiny into all aspects of the matter by the (i) serious frauds investigation officer, (ii) Reserve Bank of India, and (iii) Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
“The scrutiny, it is needless to add, shall be conducted with due observance of norms of procedural fairness that would include an opportunity to IFCI to respond to the allegations,” the bench said, adding that the solicitor general has also not opposed a direction for further independent scrutiny.
The court passed the judgment on a PIL filed by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation seeking an independent probe into various alleged financial irregularities which have come to light in recent past in IFCI.
While disposing of the petition, the bench said scrutiny shall be initiated within a month from the receipt of a copy of this judgment and completed in four months thereafter.
It said that after receiving reports of the respective agencies, the Government should expeditiously determine what action was necessary to ensure compliance of law.
The petition, filed through Prashant Bhushan, had alleged also challenged Rai’s appointment as the managing director and chief executive officer of the financial services major.
The bench noted that an investigation into the allegations was done by ROC which gave its report and the Department of Financial Services had forwarded it to IFCI.