The Supreme Court has stayed a Bombay High Court order permitting Suman Vijay Gupta, the chairperson of a Mumbai-based private company, to travel to the UAE after taking note of a case in which she is accused of defrauding State Bank of India of Rs 3,300 crore.
Gupta is the chairperson of Ushdev International Limited (UIL).
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha on Thursday took note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the law enforcement agencies have had a bad experience allowing economic offenders and fraudsters to go abroad on personal undertakings as they seldom honour their undertakings come back to face the proceedings here.
“She is the chairperson of a company that took a loan of Rs 3,300 crore. The CBI is investigating (the case). After the loan was declared an NPA (non-performing asset), she renounced the citizenship of India and got the citizenship of Dominica,” the top law officer said.
A lookout circular (LOC) was issued and she was prevented from travelling, he said, adding that the Bombay High Court said that it will let her go if she filed an undertaking stating that she will return to face legal proceedings in the case against her.
“We have a very bad experience with the undertakings,” Mehta said.
The bench said, “We will issue a notice. Pending further orders, there shall be a stay on the High Court order.”
Mehta said the insolvency proceedings were initiated against UIL after the fraud was detected and the CBI later registered a case against Gupta, who relinquished her Indian citizenship and became a Commonwealth of Dominica citizen while residing in the UAE.
Gupta had come to attend her nephew’s wedding and the LOC was issued in 2020, he said.