SC allows SBI’s plea to not allow multi crore loan defaulter travel abroad

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SBI had approached the Supreme Court challenging an order of the Bombay High Court whereby the Chairperson of the defaulter company was allowed to travel abroad on submitting an undertaking.

The Supreme Court on Thursday heard a petition filed by the State Bank of India seeking urgent hearing, and stayed an order passed by the Bombay High Court which allowed a loan defaulter to travel abroad.

Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, appearing for the SBI, mentioned the petition filed against Suman Vijay Gupta, Chairperson of Ushdev International Limited, before CJI Chandrachud, seeking urgent hearing, raising the apprehension that the person might become a fugitive.

Notably, Gupta had filed a petition before the Bombay High Court seeking permission to travel abroad which was allowed on her giving an undertaking.

High Court had also asked the defaulter to file a detailed itinerary with her contact details and addresses overseas.

"The immigration authorities at all ports of departure including all airports will permit the Petitioner passage and permit the Petitioner to take his flights out of the country irrespective of whether the State Bank of India have notified them or not and irrespective of whether this suspension is noted in the immigration authorities' systems or not", the impugned order read.

Court was told that the company took a loan of Rs 3300 crores and after the loan was declared to be a Non-Performing Asset, Gupta renounced Indian citizenship and got the citizenship of Dominican Republic.

The bench also comprising of Justice Narasimha was told that after the loan became NPA and Look Out Circulars were issued against Gupta.

Bombay High Court had stayed the LOCs in question against Gupta until 11th April 2023.

SG Mehta submitted that there was a possibility of Gupta becoming untraceable, considering the fact that India has no extradition treaty with Dominican Republic.

This prompted the court to issue notice in the plea filed by SBI while staying the impugned order.

Case Title: State Bank of India vs. Suman Vijay Gupta