The Supreme Court of India directs the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations of banking fraud involving Amtek Auto Limited, estimated at Rs. 27,000 crores. This summary highlights key points from the court order dated February 27, 2024.

The Supreme Court of India, in Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 246 of 2022 filed by Jaskaran Singh Chawla, a practicing advocate, invoked Article 32 of the Constitution of India to address the failure of authorities in investigating a significant fraud allegedly committed by M/s. Amtek Auto Limited and its associate companies in banking transactions.

During the proceedings, concerns arose regarding the safety of a journalist investigating the matter, prompting the Court to direct the Attorney General’s office to ensure the journalist’s safety and that of their family.

The investigation into Amtek Auto Limited’s affairs involved the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). The SFIO’s investigation revealed complex transactions involving over 500 companies within the Amtek group, with indications of diversion and siphoning of loans, misrepresentation, and undue benefits to directors’ family members.

The petitioner contended that the total fraud amount could reach Rs. 27,000 crores. Consequently, the Court directed an exhaustive investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), given its specialized capabilities in handling large-scale fraud cases and potential money laundering offenses under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The Court emphasized that the ongoing investigations by SFIO and CBI should continue alongside the ED’s inquiry, with cooperation between agencies. It also instructed against closure or settlement of accounts hindering ED’s investigation and scheduled a status report from the ED after six months.

The matter is set to be renotified on September 2, 2024, for further proceedings.

The Supreme Court’s directive signifies a significant step towards uncovering alleged financial irregularities involving Amtek Auto Limited and ensuring accountability for potential banking fraud, underscoring the importance of thorough investigation and cooperation among investigative agencies.

JASKARAN SINGH CHAWLA .….PETITIONER(S)
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA & ORS. …..RESPONDENT(S)

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.