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Rajasthan High Court Stays Criminal Proceedings Against Former SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri In Loan Scam Case

ANIRUDH VIJAY
28 Jan 2022 10:58 AM GMT
Rajasthan High Court Stays Criminal Proceedings Against Former SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri In Loan Scam Case
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The Rajasthan High Court has stayed criminal proceedings against former SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri, pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jaisalmer in connection with the Loan Scam Case. Chaudhuri was arrested in November last year by the Jaisalmer Sadar Police from his house in Delhi. The arrest relates to seizure of two hotels of the Godawan Group by SBI during Chauhuri's...

The Rajasthan High Court has stayed criminal proceedings against former SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri, pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jaisalmer in connection with the Loan Scam Case.

Chaudhuri was arrested in November last year by the Jaisalmer Sadar Police from his house in Delhi. The arrest relates to seizure of two hotels of the Godawan Group by SBI during Chauhuri's tenure over non-repayment of Rs. 24 Crore loan, and their subsequent loan to Alchemist ARC company, which he joined as Director after his retirement.

The trial court took cognizance against the petitioner and other co-accused persons for the offences under Sections 420, 409 read with Section 120-B IPC.

Justice Vijay Bishnoi, while disposing of the stay petition filed by Chaudhari, observed,

"When this Court is already seized of the matter and two other petitions filed by other co-accused persons are also pending before this Court, it would be appropriate that the trial court should not be allowed to proceed further in the matter. Hence, further proceedings in connection with the Final Report No.80/2016, arising out of FIR No.37/2015 of Police Station Sadar, District Jaisalmer, pending before the trial court are hereby stayed till final disposal of SB Criminal Misc. Petition No.269/2022."

The counsel for the petitioner had argued that dispute between the parties is purely of civil nature and taking into consideration this fact, the Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No.16929/2017 has already quashed an FIR registered at Jaipur on 23.10.2017. He submitted that allegations in that FIR and present FIR are identical

The counsel further submitted that once this Court is seized of the matter and in similar petitions also, notices have already been issued to the rival parties, it would be in the fitness of things that further proceedings pending before the trial court may be stayed.

In contrast, the counsel for the respondents argued that contents of the FIR registered at Jaipur are entirely different from the FIR in the present case. He also submitted that the petitioner is having a statutory remedy of filing a criminal revision petition under Section 397 and 401 Cr.P.C. before the District Court, therefore, in view of availability of the statutory remedy to the petitioner, this Court should not interfere in the matter.

The single bench observed that when the statutory remedy is available to the parties, the High Court should refrain itself from interfering in the order passed by the trial court, however, this itself will not limit the inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. The court opined that points raised in the petition are prima facie having force.

The court further opined that when this Court is already seized of the matter and two other petitions filed by other co-accused persons are also pending before this Court, it would be appropriate that the trial court should not be allowed to proceed further in the matter.

The petitioner was represented by Sr. Adv. P. Chidambaram assisted by Adv. Akhilesh Rajpurohit Adv. Karan Batura, Adv. R.K. Gossain and Adv. Ashu Kansal. The respondents were represented by Public Prosecutor Mahipal Bishnoi and Adv. Saransh Saini.

Case Title: Pratip Chadhuri S/o Shri Pramada Nath Chaudhuri v. State of Rajasthan

Case No: S.B. Criminal Misc. Stay Petition No. 210/2022 in S.B. Criminal Misc(Pet.) No. 269/2022

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