5 June 2019: The Supreme Court allowed the reopening and recasting of the past five years of accounts of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) and two of its group firms, lifting a stay that the top court had last month imposed on such actions.
The vacation bench’s order on Tuesday came on a plea by the ministry of corporate affairs and the infrastructure company’s new management. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and appellate tribunal had allowed them to reopen accounts, but another bench of the Supreme Court on May 10 stayed it on a former IL&FS director’s plea that NCLT could not pass such an order without hearing him.
The vacation bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and MR Shah said they saw no reason to interfere with the appellate tribunal’s order. “Appeals dismissed,” the bench said. The order covers three companies: IL&FS, IL&FS Financial Services and IL&FS Transportation Network.
The accounts are for 2012-13 to 2017-18. The order is yet to be uploaded on the official website of the top court.
In its arguments before the vacation bench, the ministry cited a new report of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) against the company.
The government was represented by senior advocate Maninder Singh. He was assisted by Vikash Kumar Jha, principal associate at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Senior advocate Dhruv Mehta argued for Hari Sankaran, the former director of IL&FS. Singh argued that the issue involved mismanagement and corruption in use of public money.