The court order was passed during the hearing of a liquidation petition of Vu’s sister concern Zenith Infotech, which is run by Saraf’s father and brother. The foreign currency convertible bond holders of Zenith Infotech had moved court after the company defaulted on repayments.
In response to a Business Standard mail seeking comments, a spokesperson said: “Vu has over 100 employees. They (the petitioners) took videos during lunchtime when the employees were not at their desks. We are happy to share our muster that shows the number of people employed by us.”
He added that the document would be presented in the court during Tuesday’s hearing.
On Tuesday, the court directed the official liquidator of Zenith Infotech to take physical possession of the entire premises, revoking the earlier four-week window granted to the 20,000 sqft space occupied by Vu Technologies.
It has also directed the issue of show cause notice for contempt.
The Vu Technologies spokesperson later informed that the matter has been posted to November 10 without any further relief to the company.
On October 9, the court had allowed Vu Technologies four weeks to vacate the premises. But some “miscommunication” between the lawyers and the company led to a serious turn of events.
The high court order noted that, “The liquidator was directed not to take physical possession of the said premises since the Respondent No. 6 (Vu) had submitted that they are occupying the same since the year 2011, that 200 employees/workers were working at the said premises and were also carrying on manufacturing activities therefrom. Respondent No. 6 also undertook to unconditionally hand over possession of the said premises to the Official Liquidator within a period of four weeks from the date of the order i.e. 9th October, 2014.”
However, the next day, Vu moved another petition telling the court that the representatives of the official liquidator of Zenith Infotech have reached the said property “and are insisting on also taking physical possession of the said premises i.e. the area measuring 20,000 sqft.”
Dramatic developments unfolded in the court room as recorded in the order. When the court reprimanded the official liquidator for insisting on immediate possession, he checked with his representatives and found that his representatives had not even reached the premises. The court then asked the advocates of Vu to explain what had happened.
Meanwhile, Janak Dwarkadas, a senior advocate appearing for the bondholders of Zenith Infotech, who are the petitioners in the case, informed the court that besides 15 people, no employees/workers were found at the premises occupied by Vu.
“Mr. Dwarkadas has now shown me the video of the said premises (taken on an iPad). This video was taken after 11.30am today, by the representative of the Petitioner who had accompanied the representative of the Official Liquidator. The said video shows that the tables in the said premises are empty and there are no signs of any occupation of these tables. This clearly indicates that they are not at all in use. There are hardly any chairs and no manufacturing activity is seen to be going on. The offices are found almost deserted and does not appear to have been used for a long time,” the judge said in the order.
When the court asked where the 200 employees were, it was told that “after they report to work at the said premises in the morning, they visit several sites as part of their their work/daily duties.”
The court then asked for a muster roll of the premises and was then informed that the company maintained only one muster roll and the same had been handed over to the representatives of the official liquidator.
The court then found that the muster roll reflected the names of only 32 employees for September-October, 2014, as opposed to the 200 employees mentioned in the affidavit filed by Vu Technologies.
“Their aforestated conduct is strongly deprecated. The said premises cannot be left with the Directors of the Respondent No. 6, who over the weekend are likely to change the status quo qua the movables, etc. in the said premises,” the court said while ordering the sealing of the premises.