August,23,2015: Delhi Police's failure to execute a non-bailable arrest warrant against an ex-director of a liquidated UB Group company, coupled with a 'lecture' on how police functioned, forced the Supreme Court to issue contempt of court notice to the commissioner of Delhi Police on Friday.
A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre was shocked by the 'lecture' given in the report filed by a senior official of Delhi Police's south district on the manner in which the police functioned despite its failure to execute the arrest warrant issued by the apex court.
Before issuing contempt notice to the police chief, the bench said if this was the approach of the police towards implementing the apex court's orders, it would be better that such a force was wound up.
The case related to a cheating case filed by one Gandharb Singh Bhadwal against Mcdowell Krest Finance Ltd and its directors including Vijay Mallya. Since the company went into liquidation in 2000, both the trial court as well as the Delhi High Court had dismissed the complaint of cheating. However, the SC had entertained the appeal and issued notices to the respondents.
Except one ex-director, Krishna Murthy, all other respondents were served notices and entered appearance before the SC through their counsel. Murthy's repeated absence led to issuance of non-bailable arrest warrant against him on September 1 last year.
An additional sessions judge in the Saket court in south Delhi had informed the SC on February 17 that several efforts were made to execute the NBW against Murthy but he was not found at his address 3, Billary Road, Raja Mahal Villas Extension, Bangalore, where he was a tenant. "One last ditch attempt is underway and the NBW has been issued returnable on March 12 through deputy commissioner of police (south)," the sessions judge had said.
On July 6, the bench headed by Justice Chelameswar said, "We deem it fit to direct the commissioner of police, Delhi, to take appropriate steps for securing the execution of non-bailable warrant issues against Krishna Murthy expeditiously." However, on Friday, the police reported failure in executing the NBW.
Bhadwal had alleged that he had deposited Rs 55,000 with Mcdowell Krest Finance Ltd in 1996, which subsequently changed its name to Krest Finlease Ltd. The fixed deposit matured in 1997 but was forcibly renewed and retained despite repeated reminders. He said he had contacted the Company Law Board to get back the money but was informed in January 2004 that the company had gone into liquidation. The company was, in fact, wound up on the basis of Madras High Court's July 3, 2000 order on an application by Canara Bank.
Through the RTI Act, Bhadwal got to know that ex-directors of the company had not given back the firm's assets and that was the alleged reason for his money not being returned. He filed a complaint before the metropolitan magistrate for registration of a cheating case against the ex-directors. But the magistrate dismissed it. His appeal before the sessions judge too was dismissed.
The Delhi High Court dismissed Bhadwal's appeal on April 30, 2012 saying, "This court cannot exercise its inherent power to make a civil dispute the subject matter of criminal trial."