Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Investigation Into Alleged Corporate Frauds By Reliance Industries Viz. Optical Fibre Infra

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 04:56 PM, 17 Apr 2021

A plea has been filed in Supreme Court concerning alleged corporate frauds amounting to Rs 78,140 Crore by Reliance Industries Ltd (“Respondent No 2”), Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (“Respondent No 3”), Jio Digital Fibre Private Ltd (“Respondent No 4”) & Digital Fibre Infrastructure Trust (“Respondent No 5”) in dealing with a public resource namely optical fibre infrastructure. 

It has been argued in the plea that the alleged fraud amounting to Rs 78,140 crore has been played through significant & unreal exaggeration in the value of certain assets in the process of their transfer from Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd to Jio Digital Fibre Private Ltd & thereafter certain subsequent financial transactions have been carried out on the basis of the said exaggeration. 

The same has not only posed the shareholders of Reliance Industries Ltd (about 26 lakh in number) at grave financial risk but has also endangered the communication network system & economy of the entire nation given the many supra national & international contracts signed by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd in respect of communication networks”, the plea reads. 

The plea has been filed by Kiran Chand Lunawat through Advocate on Record Anoop Prakash Awasthi & the instructing Counsel in the matter is Advocate Atul Singh. The same will be heard on April 19 by Bench of Hon’ble Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice V Ramasubramanian & Justice AS Bopanna

The petitioner has averred that the unchecked misadventures of Respondent No 2 to 5 reveal the failure of Union of India through Secretary of Ministry of Corporate Affairs to preserve a public resource governed by public trust doctrine. 

Fraud & mismanagement of this magnitude must be checked before colossal crashes involving corporate behemoths ensue, upsetting the entire economy of the nation”- excerpt from the plea

Reference has been made to the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018 by which the Union of India announced Rashtriya Broadband Abhiyan to secure universal broadband access & as a part of the same declared its intention to accord Telecom Optic Fibre cables the status of public utility.

In light of the above, the petitioner has prayed for constituting a Committee of experts to investigate the issue of exaggeration of assets initiated by Reliance Industries Ltd & Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd & further perpetuated by Reliance Industries Ltd, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Jio Digital Fibre Private Ltd & Digital Fibre Infrastructure Trust in their businesses thereby endangering the critical public resource of optic fibre cable infrastructure.

Case Title: Kiran Chand Lunawat v. Union of India| WP(C) 430/2021