Ranbaxy's former promoter Malvinder Singh has approached Delhi High Court seeking quashing of an FIR registered by Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police, saying it lacks jurisdiction to register FIR.
Malvinder Singh said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is already conducting investigations. He claims he can only be tried under companies law by SFIO.
Justice Brijesh Sethi is currently hearing the case.
Appearing for Singh, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "The plea raises the question of lack of jurisdiction. The writ was filed some days ago. It raises the issue of jurisdiction. It's not related to something that happened last night."
Singhvi stated that Section 212 of the Companies Act "clearly bars the investigation under Companies Act by any other agency other than SFIO."
"The Centre has assigned the case to SFIO for investigation. In case SFIO has been investigating any offence under the Companies Act, all other authority/agencies having any information shall provide such information to SFIO," he stated.
EOW's case against the applicant is under Sections 409 and 420 of IPC. SFIO, which investigates cases of serious frauds, is also empowered to investigate charges under CrPC while investigating cases of serious financial frauds, he said and added that parallel investigation by EOW would violate protection from duplication as enshrined under Article 20 of Constitution.
EOW stated that Singh was arrested yesterday. This matter is not appropriate to be taken up at this time and may be adjourned for few weeks, it added.
Singhvi said that in the FIR lodged by EOW, it has acknowledged the investigation being conducted by SFIO.
"How can two proceedings go simultaneously? Both the complaints refer to the same company, same transactions. For species of offences that partake with fraud, SFIO is made the only agency. How can the EOW then continue with the investigation? If SFIO investigating, EOW can't jump the gun," he said.
Singhvi has sought notice to be issued to EOW or grant of stay on the proceedings initiated by EOW.
Appearing for EOW, advocate Avi Singh said, "EOW is investigating companies which are different from the ones notified by the Centre to be investigated by SFIO. EOW is investigating different companies, promoters are same. SFIO has been given specific allegations and companies to investigate."
EOW's investigation is also being done under a different Act. EOW is not investigating any offences under Companies Act but offences under IPC, EOW stated.
SFIO cannot investigate offences under IPC. Fraud by a company is an offence separate from criminal conspiracy and other offences under IPC," it added.
EOW further mentioned that they are at the stage of initial and crucial investigation.
Supreme Court has held that an accused can't choose its investigating agency, it stated.
Our Investigation is relying on RBI forensic report that Rs 1260 crore has been diverted from Religare, it added.
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