Stop searches at MCFPL, Andhra Pradesh High Court orders government, CID

Supreme Court senior advocate Nagamuttu said staff of different departments inspecting the MCFPL offices created a lot of problems for subscribers.

Published: 22nd August 2023 08:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2023 09:37 AM   |  A+A-

Andhra Pradesh High Court

Andhra Pradesh High Court. (File photo)

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday orally directed the State government and Crime Investigation Department (APCID), probing the case, to stop inspections at the branches of Maragadarsi Chit Fund Private Limited (MCFPL) till interim stay order is issued. 

Hearing the firm’s petitions, Justice N Jayasurya observed that while the Telangana High Court had issued directions stating that the inspections should be carried out at the branches only during working hours, the pictures taken from the recent searches suggest that they were conducted during the night time.  

When the petitioner’s counsel requested an interim stay on inspections at MCPFL branches, the judge reserved his verdict. 

P Rajaji, on behalf of the chit fund firm, filed a petition in the high court, challenging the APCID’s inspections at the 37 branches of MCFPL in Andhra Pradesh from August 17. 

Supreme Court senior advocate Nagamuttu said staff of different departments inspecting the MCFPL offices created a lot of problems for subscribers. He submitted videos and photos of the inspections and how they caused inconvenience to subscribers to the court.

Nagamuttu argued that as per the rules, only the registrar of chits, deputy registrar, and assistant registrar are eligible to carry out inspections. “However, even clerks of various departments were involved in the carrying out the searches, which is illegal,” he submitted. The advocate further said attacks on MCFPL seem intentional and a way to build up pressure on media houses owned by the owner of MCFPL. He also pointed out that the inspector general (IG) of the Stamps and Registration Department has no right to issue orders for inspections. 

He reminded the court that in March 2023, the advocate general had submitted to the court that inspections in MCFPL branches have been concluded. The advocate representing APCID argued that the inspections were carried out as chargesheet was filed in two of the seven cases registered against MCFPL and investigation in the remaining five cases is going on. After hearing the arguments from both sides in the case, the court reserved its judgment.

'Inspections carried out against HC order'

Terming the searches illegal, Nagamuttu said the sleuths carried out searches despite the HC issuing an interim stay after notices were issued against the firm in November 2022 and March 2023. APCID maintained that investigations for five more cases was still underway


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