The Calcutta High Court, on Friday, stayed a criminal petition against “directors or erstwhile directors” on the board of three M P Birla group companies.
The petition was filed by Vinay Sureka in Calcutta High Court for quashing of proceedings filed by wholly owned subsidiaries of Vindhya Telelinks (complainants). The accused persons are directors or erstwhile directors of the companies.
The high court, in its order, said that all further proceedings with respect to the complaints pending before the Judicial Magistrate, Alipore Court, shall remain stayed till three weeks after the ensuing Puja vacation. The matters will appear one week after the Puja vacation for order.
The petition in the high court followed criminal proceedings launched by three subsidiaries of Vindhya Telelinks in Alipore Court.
That was after a stormy Birla Corporation annual general meeting where all sides traded charges over the voting results.
The Lodha side had said that votes cast at the AGM were by people not authorized to vote for the three complainant companies.
A statement from the Lodha side on Sunday said that three subsidiaries of Vindhya Telelinks, a cable company of the M P Birla Group, had started separate criminal proceedings against five persons, including three former directors of these companies, for falsification of documents over a sustained period of time and misrepresentation of themselves as directors even after they ceased to hold office
The judicial magistrate had on 1 and 4 October passed separate orders instructing the police to conduct a search and seizure operation at Birla Building, 9/1 R. N. Mukherjee Road—the erstwhile registered office of the complainant companies.
Substantial documents were recovered from Birla Building on 5-6 October in a search and seizure operation that stretched well past midnight, the Lodha side said.
However, the high court order said that without receiving the search report from the police and without ascertaining the entitlement of the possession of the documents, the learned magistrate ought not to have directed the return of the seized documents to the complainant.
The court directed the complainants/investigating agency to hand over the seized documents to the Joint Commissioner of Crime, Kolkata Police within 48 hours.