Taking a stern view over violation of undertaking by the petitioner, the Supreme Court forfeited the deposit of Rs.86 lakh towards penalty for the defiance. The court slapped Ritika Awasthy with the penalty amount as she failed to return to India from London, despite the undertaking.
Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice Arun Mishra ordered that the amount be forfeited from the amount deposited by the petitioner in the registry of this court and stated, ‘It seems that the petitioner is in no mood to relent. She has not mentioned any express date to return to India.’
The court also clarified that the amount shall not be used as a set off for any other claim that may have arisen or arise against the petitioner and will be forwarded to the Reserve Bank of India, along with the accrued interest.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar was further requested to furnish a verified list of properties held by Mrs. Awasthy and her husband, including those which they would have ‘made over by way of gift’.
The bench indicated that her other properties might be attached and auctioned to make good losses suffered by complainants who were allegedly duped.
The petitioner, Ritika Awasthy, a promoter of Bush Foods Overseas Pvt Ltd, is an accused in a case of cheating, forgery and criminal breach of trust, the matter is registered in Uttar Pradesh. The Allahabad High Court had earlier dismissed her appeal to quash the FIR against her, which led her to move the Supreme Court.
Rs.86 lakh was deposited by her towards her bail security. The bench had granted her permission to travel to the UK, to cater to her familial needs and take care of her ailing husband. She had initially furnished an undertaking to return to India by March 31. Later, she filed for an extension of her stay but was directed to return by May 31. She, however, failed to abide by the order and failed to return on the stipulated date and also did not provide any later date for that matter.
Read the order here.