The Bombay High Court has directed former finance minister P Chidambaram and two bureaucrats -- Ramesh Abhishek, former chairman of the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) and K P Krishnan, a former officer in the Union Finance Ministry -- to file their replies in eight weeks, to allegations made in a Rs 10,000-crore defamation suit filed by 63 Moons Technologies.
Hearing the case, Justice A K Menon warned that 63 Moons Technologies would be at liberty to apply for an ex-parte order if the three individuals named above fail to reply within two months. The case pertains to the Rs 5,600-crore payment default at 63 Moons subsidiary, National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).
“While summons was served on them, they have not filed any reply so far. Hence, we approached the court for direction. The counsel appearing for Ramesh Abhishek sought six weeks to file a reply. The Bombay HC, however, granted eight weeks to them to complete all formalities, including discovery and inspection of documents. If they fail to file reply during this period, then 63 Moons will be at liberty to apply for ex-parte order,” said Vishwanathan Iyer, the counsel appearing for 63 Moons Technologies.
Meanwhile, the court rejected a plea by Chidambaram's counsel to grant the former finance minister some leeway on the grounds that he is currently in jail.
“Two month's time is more than enough to file written statements which the respondents are under obligations,” the court observed.
In its petition, 63 Moons charged Abhishek, Krishnan and Chidambaram with supporting a rival exchange and wielding their clout to introduce unjust regulations beyond their jurisdiction.