Delhi Development Authority Vs. Skipper
Construction Co. & ANR  INSC 153 (11 February 1997)
JEEVAN REDDY, K.S. PARIPOORNAN
O R D
E R This order is in continuation of the order dated January 31, 1977 and the order dated February 7, 1997.
to the notice given to Sri R.C. Suneja [formerly Chairman and Managing Director
of the New Bank of India], he has filed a detailed counter
setting out several facts and circumstances and putting forward several defences.
He also filed a list of all the movable properties held by him, his wife and
his children. The Canara Bank has fled an elaborate response in the matter. The
Punjab National Bank, into which the New Bank of India has been merged, has also offered to file their response.
other directors of New Bank of India, to whom
notices were directed, viz., Ms.Tajwar Rehman Sawhney, Sri Sudershal Lal, Sri S.S.Ranade
and Sri J.K.Sawhney have filed their explanations.
basis of information furnished by the learned counsel for the Canara Bank, with
respect to the legal representatives of Late Sri B.R. Ratnakar [formerly
Chairman and Managing Director of the Canara Bank notices have been issued to
his legal representatives in India.
Salve, learned counsel appearing for the Reserve Bank of India, stated that during the course of
the day [17 February,
1997], the response of
the Reserve Bank of India will be filed.
question before us is whether, and to what extent, Sri R.C. Suneja, Ms.Tajwar Rehman
Sawhney, Sri Sudershan Lal, Sri S.S.Ranade and Sri J.K.Sawhney are guilty of
deliberate and/or intentional misuse/abuse of their power in the matter of the
New Bank of India extending bank guarantees to and on behalf of Skipper group
of companies and what loss, if any, have they caused to the bank on that
account. Upon the answer to the said question will depend the liability of one
or the other of the said persons to make good the loss caused to the bank. Any
action against them shall also depend upon such answer.
the question in the case of Sri B.R.Ratnakar is whether, and to what extent, he
is guilty of deliberate and/or intentional misuse/abuse of his power in the
matter of New Bank of India extending bank guarantees to and to behalf of
Skipper group of companies and what loss, if any, has he caused to the bank on
that account. Upon the answer to the said question will depend the liability of
the legal representatives of said person to make good the loss caused to the bank.
also mention that Sri R.R.Pradhan, Dr. M.R.Kotdawala, Sri J.P.Awasthi were
nominees of Reserve Bank of India on the
board of Canara Bank during the period April 24, 19084 to November 10, 1988. Their responsibility in the matter
has also to be determined. Sri D.Seetharamma was the workman Director on the
board of this bank from August
1, 1981 to August 17, 1987. Notices to these persons shall
also issue calling upon them to show-cause why appropriate action should not be
taken against them in the light of conclusion (e) recorded by Justice Saharya
Commission [at Page 128 of the Report].
regard to the nature of the question involved herein, and also because the
Reserve Bank of India is the authority to regulate and
monitor the activities of the Banks in the country, we think it appropriate
that the aforesaid questions shall be enquired into by the Reserve Bank of India. For this purpose, e request the
Governor of the Reserve Bank of India to nominate two officers of the status of Deputy Governors of the
Reserve Bank of India to act as an Enquiry Committee. The
responses/explanations filed by the several parties in this court, pursuant to
the notices issued by this court, shall be forwarded to the Reserve Bank of India and shall form part of the record
before the Enquiry Committee. Two copies of the Justice Saharya Commission
Report shall also be forwarded to the Reserve Bank of India and it shall form part of the
record before the said Enquiry Committee. The said Report of the Commission
shall be treated as a relevant piece of evidence but not as conclusive evidence
against the persons concerned. In other words, while the Enquiry Committee
shall be entitled to take into consideration the material, oral and documentary
gathered by the said Commission and its Report, it shall not treat the same as
final and/or binding.
shall be open to the persons concerned to show that the said findings are not
correct and/or tenable, in fact or law, and that the evidence gathered is not
relevant against them. The Enquiry Committee shall give notices to both the
banks, viz., Punjab National Bank [into which the New Bank of India has since
merged] and the Canara Bank, to the persons aforementioned and to all such
other persons who, in the opinion of the Enquiry Committee, are responsible for
any irregularities in the matter and send a report to this court determining
the responsibility and the extent of responsibility, if any, of each of the
above persons. Those persons, to whom notices are given by this Court but have
not already filed their response/explanation in this Court as well as those to
whom notices may be given by the Enquiry Committee aforesaid, shall be entitled
to submit their response/explanations before the Reserve Bank of India/Enquiry
Committee. The persons who have already appeared in this Court shall appear
before the Committee, at Delhi, on February 20, 1977. No notices be sent to them by the Enquiry Committee. The
Enquiry Committee shall meet on that day and commence the work.
the properties standing in the name of Sri R.C.Suneja, his wife and children as
per the list filed by him shall be subject to the orders dated January 31, 1997.
Reserve Bank of India [the Enquiry Committee aforesaid]
shall submit their Report in the matter to this Court as expeditiously as possible,
not later than three months. As and when the Report is received, the same shall
be placed before this court for appropriate orders.
of this order shall be communicated to the Governor, Reserve Bank of India by name today itself. The Governor,
Reserve Bank of India is requested to take appropriate
steps in pursuance of this order.