Delhi HC seeks Centre's response on plea of Sahara chairman Subrata Roy's wife challenging lookout circular

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New Delhi [India], September 9 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the central government to file a reply on the plea of Swapan Roy, wife of Subrata Roy, chairman of Sahara India Pariwar, challenging a lookout circular (LOC) issued against her.

Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to the respondent and asked the Centre and Serious Fraud Investigator Office (SFIO) to file a reply on the plea. The matter has now been listed for November 7 for further hearing.

The petition said Swapan Roy, aged about 72 years, is a person of Indian origin and has citizenship of the Republic of Macedonia.

Swapan Roy has filed her petition through advocate Kartik Gandotra and Ilesh Shukla and is represented by Senior Advocate Saurabh Kirpal. Advocate Anurag Ahluwalia, who was representing the Centre, opposed the petition.

The petitioner said that while returning from Dubai to Mumbai, she was detained on March 20, 2019, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport, Mumbai by the officials of the immigration department.

She said that having the knowledge of the alleged investigation she visited India from Dubai and the intention of the petitioner is very clear.

"In these circumstances, there is no basis in law, even no basis as per the impugned Office Memorandums (OM) for the issuance of LOC against the petitioner and the impugned OM's and the impugned LOC are violative of the petitioner's fundamental right under Article(s) 14 and 21 of the Constitution, which includes the right to have a passport, the right to travel, the right to reputation and the right to carry on business and profession," the petition said.

The petitioner submitted she has nothing to do with the ensuing investigation pending against the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL), Sahara Q Shop Unique Products Range Ltd. (SQSUPRL) and Sahara Q gold Mart ltd. (SQGML).

The petition said the sole reason for issuance of a LOC against the petitioner is that the Petitioner is the wife of Subrato Roy Sahara.

It said the entire property and assets of the Sahara Group have already been attached by the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in pursuance of the directions passed by the Supreme Court of India in the matter of SEBI vs Sahara.

The petition said all the directors of the concerned companies are residing in India and regularly appearing before SFIO and other statutory bodies for the purpose of investigation.

It said the petitioner is neither a director nor shareholder of any companies under investigation.

The petitioner has sought quashing of any look out circular (copy not received by the petitioner) issued by the SFIO against her and to quash the Office Memorandum dated October 27, 2010, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and Office Memorandum dated December 5 2017, and Office Memorandum dated July 19, 2018, and Office Memorandum dated September 19, 2018, also issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

She has also urged the court to pass an ad-interim order permitting the petitioner to travel to Macedonia for six weeks and for not taking any coercive action against the petitioner at the time of leaving India and till return to India from Macedonia, on such terms and conditions as this Court may deem fit and necessary during the pendency of the present writ petition. (ANI)

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