Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had initiated probe against a few Adani group firms for over-invoicing of coal imports in 2011-15.  (Photo: Bloomberg)
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had initiated probe against a few Adani group firms for over-invoicing of coal imports in 2011-15. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Supreme Court stays HC order, lets DRI pursue case against Adani firms

  • A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde issued notices to Adani Enterprises on the appeal filed by DRI in the matter
  • The DRI had initiated investigations in March 2016 against a few Adani group firms for alleged over-invoicing of coal imports between 2011 and 2015

NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a Bombay high court order of October 2019, which had quashed the letters rogatory (LRs) sent by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to several countries in connection with a case of alleged overvaluation of Indonesian coal imports involving some Adani Group companies.

The DRI had initiated investigations in March 2016 against a few Adani group firms for alleged over-invoicing of coal imports between 2011 and 2015.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde on Wednesday issued notices to Adani Enterprises on the appeal filed by DRI in the matter.

The court will hear the matter after two weeks.

The Bombay high court had observed that it did not go into the merits of the LRs issued by the Mumbai metropolitan magistrate, but found that due process was not followed while issuing these letters.

A letter rogatory is a formal request for judicial assistance to access information during investigation of offshore entities.

A division bench of Bombay high court comprising justices Ranjit More and Bharati H. Dangre had allowed the writ petition filed by Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), challenging the DRI’s action of getting the LRs issued.

The bench, while quashing the LRs, had noted that due process was not followed.

“... The action of the respondents in giving effect to the letters rogatory issued by the learned metropolitan magistrate, Mumbai... cannot be sustained and it deserves to be quashed and set aside," the high court order said.

“We make it clear that we have not gone into the merits of the letters rogatory issued by the magistrate…We have only dealt with the contention as to whether it was permissible for the magistrate to issue such letters rogatory without following the procedure mandated by... CrPC (the Code of Criminal Procedure)," the bench had said.

PTI contributed to this story.

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