Mumbai-based builder Niranjan Hiranandani, 61, has sought the quashing and setting aside of a charge sheet filed against him in September 2010, by the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Bureau, for not depositing provident funds of the employees of his group to the tune of Rs nine crores. The ACB had charged him under sections pertaining to criminal conspiracy, cheating and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A division bench of acting chief justice VK Tahilramani, recently posted the petition for hearing on February 14, 2018 and granted an interim stay on the trial against Hiranandani. The builder approached the high court after a co-accused, K Gopalan, was discharged from the case. “The petitioner cannot be vicariously held responsible, merely because he is a director of the company,” the petition said.
According to the prosecution, the Hiranandani Group had not deposited provident funds of its employees, between 2003 and 2006. The alleged non-payment, as per a report submitted by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation in its departmental enquiry, was to the tune of Rs 9.36 crores.
Apart from Hiranandani, two employees of the Group and four officers from the EPFO, have been arraigned as accused in the case. Following the EPFO’s report, the CBI lodged an FIR in the case, in March 2008.