SC sets aside HC order that allowed partial FTIL asset transfer

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday set aside a Madras high court order which partially suspended a stay on Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) to sell its assets.

The Company Law Board (CLB), in June last year, restricted FTIL from creating third-party rights on its assets and investments. The CLB is hearing a case filed by the government to replace its board members.

Against this June order, FTIL moved the Madras high court, which granted a partial stay. The Centre then appealed before the Supreme Court.

An apex court bench comprising justices Anil R. Dave and A. K. Goel on Monday asked the CLB to expedite its hearing of the case. The CLB is scheduled to hear the case next on 6 May.

The apex court questioned the high court’s intervention on a temporary order of the CLB.

“When the matter is yet to be heard by the CLB, why should the high court intervene?” the court asked.

FTIL, through lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Amit Sibal, said that the freeze on transfer of investments brought its running business to a standstill.

The court, on the government’s suggestion, said that expenses for day-to-day business of FTIL will be allowed, provided there are no third-party interests.

The corporate ministry asked FTIL to be merged with the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), after a Rs.5,600 crore payment crisis surfaced at the exchange.