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The High court cannot overlook the statutory limits on its power under Section 482: Supreme Court of India.

The words ‘to secure the ends of justice’ in Section 482 cannot mean to overlook the undermining of a statutory dictate, which in this case is the provisions of Section 14, and Section 17 of the IBC. This honorable judgement was passed by Supreme Court of India in the case of Sandeep Khaitan, Resolution Professional for National Plywood Industries Ltd. Vs. JSVM Plywood Industries Ltd. & Anr. [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.447 OF 2021] by The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit.

The appeal was directed against order passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Guwahati. In the impugned order, the High Court had allowed an interlocutory application filed by the Respondent to allow it to operate its bank account maintained with the ICICI Bank Bhubaneswar and to unfreeze the bank account of its creditors over which the lien has been created and the accounts frozen pursuant to the lodging of an FIR by the appellant before us. The Appellant was appointed as the Interim Resolution Professional. A moratorium also came to be passed by the very same order within the meaning of Section 14 of the IBC. The Appellant came to be appointed as the Resolution Professional by an order. In the meantime, the Respondent No.1 claiming to be an operational creditor lay the claim for the amounts due to it from the Corporate Debtor before the Appellant vide communication. It would appear that the former Managing Director of the Corporate Debtor challenged the order of the NCLT, Guwahati, admitting the application under Section 7. The NCLAT by order dismissed the appeal inter alia holding that the application under Section 7 was not barred by limitation. The Appellant that the former Managing Director of the Corporate Debtor in conspiracy with the Respondent No.1 engaged in an illegal transaction to the tune of Rs. 32.50 lakhs without authority from the Appellant and in violation of Section 14 of the IBC. It is his complaint that initially, the Managing Director made a transaction of Rs. 500.

The court opinioned that, “The words ‘to secure the ends of justice’ in Section 482 cannot mean to overlook the undermining of a statutory dictate, which in this case is the provisions of Section 14, and Section 17 of the IBC.”

The earlier order was modified by court stating that, “The Respondent is allowed to operate its account subject to it to first remitting into the account of the Corporate Debtor, the amount of Rs 32.50 lakhs which stood paid to it by the management of the Corporate Debtor. The assets of the Corporate Debtor shall be managed strictly in terms of the provisions of the IBC. The Appellant as RP will bear in mind the provision of Section 14 (2A) and the object of IBC. We however make it clear that our order shall not be taken as our pronouncement on the 28 issues arising from the FIR including the petition pending under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.”

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