NCLT issues contempt notices to Axis Bank, Standard Chartered CEOs & IL&FS' Bawa

  • The tribunal posted the matter for further hearing on June 7
  • The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) issued contempt notices

NEW DELHI: The NCLT Friday issued contempt notices to the heads of Axis Bank and StandardC for allowing the former head of ILFS Financial Services Ramesh Chandra Bawa to withdraw money and access the lockers in breach of its orders, and directed them to reply in two weeks.

The tribunal posted the matter for further hearing on June 7.

The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) issued contempt notices to Axis Bank chief executive Amitabh Chaudhry, Standard Chartered Bank India chief executive Zarin Daruwala and Bawa after the corporate affairs ministry alleged that the banks facilitated Bawa to withdraw/transfer money from their accounts to his wife Ashakiran and daughter Akansha, apart from letting him access the lockers.

Ministry's counsel Sanjay Shorey, in a separate petition, also sought to implead Ashakiran and Akansha as they are the beneficiaries of these funds.

The ministry informed the tribunal that Bawa withdrew/ transferred 1 crore and 14 lakh from Axis Bank accounts in two instances which are in violation of the December 3, 2018 order of the tribunal which had frozen these accounts.

The counsel also said Bawa accessed his lockers with these bank four times since December 3.

Shorey also said Bawa withdrew money from ICICI Bank but is not impleading the bank it as it had happened on the same day.

On December 3, the ministry had mailed a petition to Bawa at 8 am but despite that he withdrew 3 crore from his accounts from an ICICI Bank branch at 10 am, he said.

"But we are not including ICICI Bank in the petition as the hearing was still on when the money was withdrawn. But all the banks, including Axis Bank and StanC, were informed about the NCLT order on December 6 and still these two allowed Bawa to transfer the funds," Shorey explained.

The NCLT On December 3 2018, had restrained the former directors of IL&FS group from disposing of or creating any third-party rights on their properties.

Later, the NCLAT on January 16, 2019 had allowed them to withdraw up to 2 lakh a month from any one of the bank accounts after intimating the tribunal.

A two-member NCLT bench of VP Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy Friday also accepted another plea from the governments to add Ashakiran and Akansha as respondents numbers 319 and 320 into the contempt petitions since they are the beneficiaries of the transferred money and which is allegedly siphoned off from the company.

Meanwhile, the tribunal also granted the relaxation to the resolution professional's plea seeking on exemption in appointing independent and women directors to the listed entities of the IF&FS group which is mandatory under section 149 of Company's Act of 2013.

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