Supreme Court lifts stay on Sahara group probe by Serious Fraud Investigation Office [26.5.2022]

26.5.2022, New Delhi

The Supreme Court on May 26 set aside the Delhi High Court's order that imposed a stay on the investigation against the Sahara group by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).

The court also revived the lookout circulars that were issued by the agency against Sahara group chief Subrata Roy and other directors.

The order today effectively paves the way for resuming the probe by the agency against Roy's group. The Supreme Court noted that the high court's order giving relief to the group was "extraordinary" which led to the investigation being "stultified".

The top court was hearing an appeal by the SFIO against the order by the high court in January this year through which all coercive action by the agency was stayed.

Allowing SFIO's appeal, the top court set aside the interim order noting that the investigation ought not to have been stayed at an interlocutory stage but not before clarifying that the apex court's order shall not have any bearing on the merits of the case that the high court is yet to hear at final stage.

The high court's order had come after pleas by Sahara group firms questioning and challenging the SFIO probe against them.

The top court has also requested the high court to dispose of the petitions filed by Sahara group at the earliest, "preferably within two months" after re-opening following the summer vacation.

The SFIO was probing nine companies of the Sahara group and the investigation pertains to transactions involving various companies worth of Rs 1 lakh crore, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court today.

28 May 2022