Interim bail granted to erstwhile promoter of Bhushan Steel Neeraj Singal in an alleged Rs 2,500-crore fraud case will continue, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday. Singal was granted bail by Delhi High Court in the matter. Only the interim bail was allowed to continue, while the interim order passed by the high court on other aspects stayed, said a bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud.
The court said the operation of the rest of the judgements regarding various aspects, including the SFIO's power to arrest and investigate, will be deliberated later.
Some pertinent observations with respect to Section 212 of the Companies Act were made by the high court, while it had granted bail to Singal.
Section 212 of the Companies Act is a code as far as the procedure for arrest, investigation and prosecution of the offences under the Companies Act is concerned.
The SFIO had in the apex court contended that the investigation report under Section 212 (15) is not the final report as contemplated under Section 173 CrPC and it is only "for the purpose of framing charges".
The order of the court followed the plea of Serious Frauds Investigation Office's (SFIO), which had challenged grant of bail to Singal. The high court order was also challenged by the Centre in the court.
Singal was accused of siphoning off Rs 2,500 crore of public funds. The SFIO, in its allegations, had argued before the Supreme Court that his release will cause grave harm to the ongoing investigation, which has reached an advanced stage.
Singal is out on bail after habeas corpus petition was filed by his mother.
The counsel appearing for Singal's mother had contended that his arrest was illegal as the complaint was made under one law and his arrest was made under another.
The high court had imposed conditions on Singal’s bail and on August 29 had said “he shall not be compelled by the SFIO to sign his statement under Section 217 (4) read with Section 217 (7) of the Companies Act."