SC to hear Praful Patel's plea on Monday in 50-cr fraud case

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New Delhi, Jul 20 (UNI) The Supreme Court will examine tomorrow the plea of Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel seeking to drop the criminal proceedings pending against him in a Rs 50-crore fraud case.

The matter will be heard by a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhan.

Earlier, the apex court had stayed the Bombay High Court's directions that asked the trial court to go ahead with the matter seeking a CBI probe.

According to Patel, Unit Trust of India (UTI), in April 2004, had filed a complaint before the Magistrate's Court against nine directors of Mumbai-based Auto Riders Finance Ltd, alleging that they had misappropriated the security given against a Rs 50-crore loan borrowed between 1993 and 1995 for setting up the auto finance company.

In the petition filed in the apex court earlier in 2006, Patel had stated that he was a non-executive director and chairman of the company and came to know about the complaint through newspapers.

However, the UTI later sought deletion of three names, including that of Patel, on the ground that they had ceased to be directors since March 1999 and were not concerned with the day-to-day working of the company, the petition added.

According to Patel, the Magistrate had deleted his name and the names of T N V Ayyar and Surendra Ruia on November 19, 2004, and the order had not been challenged till the filing of the appeal before the apex court in 2006.

However, the minister said that the High Court on August 16, 2006, had entertained two PILs filed by a Delhi-based journalist M Furquan and one Shoaib Alias Richie Sequeira and allowed the order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mumbai, that asked the petitioners to approach the High Court for a CBI probe into the scam.


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