A division bench of Delhi High Court comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher has set aside a contempt of court order against Atul Kumar Rai, chief executive officer and managing director of state-owned financial institution IFCI.
Justice PK Bhasin of the Delhi High court had earlier passed a contempt of court order dated March 19, 2012 that awarded Rai a one-month imprisonment in the matter related to Koshika Telecom.
“We find that there is no case whatsoever of contempt made out against Atul Kumar Rai… Given this situation, unqualified apology tendered more than met the requirement as it was not a case of any willful contumacious conduct for the court to either proceed with conviction or impose sentence and that too such a harsh one,” Justice Kaul and Shakdher said in their order dated April 17, 2012.
The case and subsequent court orders relate to the winding up of telecommunications firm Koshika Telecom to which IFCI was a creditor. Before the High Court’s order to wind up Koshika a DRT (debt recovery tribunal) had already auctioned some of its (Koshika’s) assets and deposited the sales proceeds of Rs 12 crore with IFCI Ltd.
Thereafter, on a report from official liquidator, the High Court on October 8, 2009 passed an order directing IFCI to remit this money with official liquidator.
However, IFCI failed to do so and approached the debt recovery tribunal, an authority subordinate to the High Court.