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Ketan Parekh entities want probe deferred

By Ashish Aggarwal in New Delhi
November 26, 2004 13:39 IST
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Ketan Parekh entities on Wednesday did not have an answer to the Company Law Board query on the legal basis for asking for postponement of investigations.

The judge further added that if Parekh's entities wanted a review of its order they should go to the High Court.

CLB was hearing the counsels to decide on a temporary stay it had given to investigations by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office into 16 entities belonging to Ketan Parekh.

The order had indicted the entities owned and controlled by Ketan Parekh including V N Parekh Securities, KNP Securities Ltd and Classic Credit Ltd, for 'defrauding' creditors and other stakeholders in the stock market scam.

When the judge asked the defence counsel to point out any provision of law or a precedent whereby the execution of final order could be deferred, the counsel did not quote any such provision.

On the other hand, the government counsel argued that under regulation 152 of the Criminal Procedure Code only one month delay could be granted.

The lawyer defending  Ketan Parekh entities argued before the CLB that investigation by the SFIO should be postponed.

At the hearing the defence counsel argued that if the CLB ordered investigation by the SFIO it would lead to 'extortion and harassment' through a 'roving and fishing exercise' by the inspectors as all the books had already been seized by various regulatory agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation, Income Tax department and the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Arguing against any deferment, the government counsel rebutted the defence plea saying that there was no legal provision based on which CLB could defer investigations beyond one month.

And more than one month had already elapsed, the government counsel added in the course of hearing.

The government counsel pointed out that any delay would harm the investigations as evidence could be destroyed.

Further, as the defence had only asked for deferment there was no basis for arguing the merits of the case at this stage, the government counsel added.

The judge is expected to announce his final order in a day or two. The government had earlier forwarded a team of four inspectors to SFIO for assisting in its investigations.

But before investigations could start the petition for postponement was filed.

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Ashish Aggarwal in New Delhi