PTI, NEW DELHI: In yet another big setback to three directors including CMD of beleaguered Amrapali Group, the Supreme Court on Thursday initiated contempt proceedings against them and directed that they be placed under police surveillance for the next 15-days.
The top court had on October 9, directed that the Chairman and Managing Director Anil Kumar Sharma and directors Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar be taken into police custody till they hand over all the documents of the group's 46 firms.
It clarified today that they will not be kept in police lockup for the night and instead be taken to a hotel in Noida, where their phones will be seized.
The three directors were released last night from police custody after nine properties of Amrapali Group, where bulky documents of group companies are stashed, were sealed in compliance with the top court's order.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud allowed the three directors to stay in their home for tonight but asked them to present themselves before Station House Officer (SHO) of Noida Sector 58 tomorrow before 8 am.
The top court fixed a 15-day limit for forensic auditors to collect, collate and catalogue the documents from 2008 till now with regard to the 46 companies of the group from the nine properties situated in Noida, Greater Noida of Delhi-NCR and Rajgir and Buxar district in Bihar.
"During the entirety of operation of cataloguing of documents of Group companies, the applicants (three directors) shall remain under police surveillance...We direct the SSP of Noida to see that after the operation is over for the day, they be brought to the Hotel Park Ascent in sector 62, Noida and taken the next day to the properties, where documents are kept," the bench said.
The court, while issuing notice of contempt to the three directors for prima facie violating court's order and thwarting the course of justice, asked the registrar of the apex court to register a separate suo motu case against them. "We therefore issue formal notice of contempt against directors of Amrapali Group and direct the registrar of the Supreme Court to register a separate suo motu contempt case to be listed on November 20. Reply to be filed in four weeks", the bench said.
The court directed that the three directors shall not use cell phones during their stay in hotel at night without the express authorization of police but granted them liberty to use the phones during the day time.