The Supreme Court has held six directors of Indiabulls company guilty of contempt for moving 12.25 lakh shares of Fortis Healthcare Limited by Indiabulls Ventures (IVL) to Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IHFL) in September 2018 in violation of the court's order.
A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said diversion of Fortis Healthcare shares by Indiabulls led to violation of the court order which had called for maintaining status quo, according to a report in the Times of India.
The bench which held Indiabulls founders Sameer Gehlaut and Gagan Banga among others guilty of contempt said, "No person or institution howsoever powerful, can be permitted to misuse the process of the court."
The SC bench held that Gehlaut, Banga and other active directors of IVL and IHLF Ashwini Kumar Hooda, Sachin Chaudhary, Divyesh Bharat Kumar Shah and Pinank Jayant Shah had "knowingly and wilfully" disobeyed the court's order, the TOI report said.
Indiabulls had argued that it had received power of attorney (PoA) from Fortis Healthcare to transfer the shares from its demat account much before the court gave the status quo order.
The bench rejected the plea and said the PoA could not be used to violate court orders. The court gave a chance to the six directors of Indiabulls to get rid of contempt charge by submitting the value of 12.25 lakh shares as on August 31, 2017 within eight weeks.
"IHFL made various transactions transferring even unencumbered shares. The best course available to IHFL would have been to approach this court seeking a clarification before it made the transfers," the court said.