The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Friday, withdrew its orders freezing the bank accounts of Money Matters Financial Services Ltd and six of its subsidiary companies after a rap from the Bombay high court.
The court termed the CBI’s action of freezing all accounts of all group companies “high-handed action”. The division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice AR Joshi told CBI lawyers Ejaz Khan and Mandar Goswami, “You are dealing with somebody’s civil rights. Can you strangulate an entire company like this?”
The judges clarified that they did not doubt the CBI’s case that chairman and managing director of the group, Rajesh Sharma and director of a group company, Sanjay Sharma, were involved in a bribery case involving officials of public sector banks and financial corporations like Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, LIC of India, LIC Housing Finance.
But, they were irked to note that the central agency had frozen banking accounts of all seven companies without trying to establish a link between the companies and the offence.
In November 2010, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the CBI registered five cases of bribery involving Money Matters CMD and five different public sector officials. Shortly after registering the FIRs, the agency issued notices to all their bankers directing them not to allow any credit or debit.