Alliance varsity row: SC orders notice to government, directors

Alliance varsity row: SC orders notice to government, directors

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Karnataka government on a plea by Madhukar G Angur, removed as vice chancellor of Alliance University, challenging quashing of a criminal case against the university's top officials.

Angur (60) had a running feud with his brother, business partners and other directors of Alliance Business School Pvt Ltd over control of the university, worth thousand of crores. He had accused them of forging the digital signature on share transfer forms and illegal opening of bank accounts, among others.

Acting on his petition, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha sought response from Angur's business parters and directors Abhay Govind Chebbi, Prakash Budoor, Shaila Chebbi Govind, Mala Madikeri Srinivas Gouda and others.

The court agreed to examine the special leave petition filed by Angur against the Karnataka High Court's orders of October 4 and 17 last that quashed the FIR registered with Anekal police station in 2015 under various provisions of the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The bench, however, refused to stay the high court's orders as senior advocate Yatindra Singh, advocates Sanjay M Nuli and Shyam Sunder, appearing for accused-respondents, opposed it.

Angur's petition, argued by senior advocate Guru Krishna Kumar, questioned the high court's finding that the complaints of fraud, malfeasance and misconduct could be dealt with under the Companies Act and by the National Company Law Tribunal which can investigate the matter and refer it to the special court, if necessary.

“The Companies Act of 1956 or 2013 does not provide effective mechanism for investigation and trial of offences of forgery which require arrest, custody and recovery of incriminating material and securing of expert reports,” the petitioner submitted.

Raising a question of law, the petitioner asked the apex court to decide if the provisions of the Companies Act provided the requisite mechanism for investigation and trial into an offence of forgery of documents or the remedy for investigation and prosecution lay with the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code.

In his petition, Angur claimed the high court judgement overlooked the fact the inspector to be appointed under the Companies Act does not have requisite power or expertise to investigate the offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

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