New Delhi: The Delhi high court (HC) on Friday issued notices to Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL), Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other respondents in a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a probe into the mortgage lender.
The PIL seeks “an in-depth, thorough and time-bound investigation" by a special investigation team, alleging serious illegalities, violations and siphoning committed by the promoters of IBHFL, its subsidiaries and their promoters.
The court gave two weeks to the respondents to file their replies.
The petitioner also sought directions to the ministry of corporate affairs, registrar of companies (RoC), serious fraud investigation office (SFIO), National Housing Bank (NHB), RBI, and Sebi to take action against IBHFL and its promoters/owners.
The petition has been filed by an organization called Citizens Whistle Blower Forum (CWBF), a registered organization working to provide a platform to whistle-blowers across the country.
“…PIL highlights the complete inaction of the respondent authorities against Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL). IBHFL through its promoters and their various group companies and subsidiary companies has been advancing dubious loans to companies owned by large corporate groups which in turn have been routing the money back to the accounts of companies owned by the promoters of Indiabulls, so as to increase their personal wealth. The primary documents such as balance sheets, RoC records which are available in the public domain suggest a vast web of companies involved in various dubious deals, loans, investments, round tripping of funds to benefit the companies owned by the promoters of Indiabulls," the petition read.
“As of date, there has been complete inaction of the respondent authorities against IBHFL. IBHFL through its promoters and their various group companies and subsidiary companies has been advancing dubious loans to companies owned by large corporate groups which in turn have been routing the money back to the accounts of companies owned by the promoters of Indiabulls, so as to increase their personal wealth," it added.
The petitioner wants the ministry of corporate affairs to conduct an investigation through the SFIO into the alleged irregularities. It also wants the RBI and NHB to investigate the financial affairs of IBHFL and direct a special audit of the lender.
It has also sought for a direction to Sebi to conduct a thorough enquiry and investigation into the affairs of IBHFL.
In a statement, Indiabulls refuted the allegations and said they were motivated by vested interests.
“The PIL filed by Citizens Whistle Blower Forum came up for hearing before the Hon’ble Delhi high court today when the Hon’ble Court was informed that the averments made in the petition are a pack of lies motivated by vested interest and has been filed without any research even on publicly available records of the company," the company said.
Indiabulls Housing Finance said it has filed a criminal defamation case against senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, who launched the forum in 2017.