The Supreme Court has refused to vacate stay on proceedings in all the 19 FIRs filed against direct selling company QNeT across the country. The bench dismissed the application of the Maharashtra government seeking to lift the stay which was granted in March on the proceedings. "Application for vacating stay is dismissed.
Let the writ petition be set down for final hearing in the month of October, 2017," a bench of justices R F Nariman and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said. The apex court had earlier granted bail to former world billiards champion Micheal Ferreira and another official of the firm's Indian franchise in a cheating case. Ferreira and Malckolm Noser Desai of Vihaan Pvt Ltd were arrested last year for allegedly running ponzi schemes and violating laws in India. They had surrendered before a trial court in Mumbai after the apex court in September 2016 had refused to grant them anticipatory bail. The apex court had asked them to furnish bail bonds of Rs 25,000 each with two sureties of the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court concerned and imposed various conditions on them. According to a statement issued by QNet in Mumbai, the petition had contended that the business model followed by Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd was not a money circulation scheme as alleged and does not fall under the purview of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation (Banning) Act, 1978. The company had also said it has been also argued that Vihaan's business complied with all legal requirements of conducting business in India. Raj Vasudevan, Chief Legal Officer of QNet, had said, "This order is a vindication we have been seeking for more than three long years. "It has come at a very apt time when the government is trying to instil confidence in this industry with the introduction of Model Direct Selling Guidelines.
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