By LE Desk

New Delhi, March 2: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Anuj Jain, the court-appointed interim resolution professional (IRP) for managing the affairs of debt-ridden Jaypee Infratch Limited (JIL).

The top court said that it was appalled by Jain’s arrest in a criminal case by the Uttar Pradesh police and also issued notice to the erring cop.

A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said: “We are appalled to see that the manner in which the Uttar Pradesh Police have handled this case emanating from FIR No. 0098/2021, registered at Police Station Beta-II in District Greater Noida, including to take the extreme step to arrest the interim resolution professional, Anuj Jain, who was working in that capacity pursuant to the order passed by the court and entrusted with the functioning of the company in question”, news agency IANS said.

The bench noted that the police officer dealing with the case doesn’t seem to be familiar with the provision of privilege of the interim resolution professional appointed by the court in terms of Section 233 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

R K Raizada, senior counsel appearing for the UP government, submitted that the investigating officer, Bijendra Singh, was of the view that Jain may leave India at any time to avoid prosecution and for securing his presence, he thought it necessary to arrest him from Mumbai.

The bench said it will examine this aspect of the matter elaborately at an appropriate time by treating this application as  substantive writ petition filed by the applicant under Article 32 of the Constitution.

“In the meantime, we direct immediate release of the applicant, Anuj Jain, who is presently in custody of Police Station, Beta-II, District Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, and had been produced today before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gautam Buddh Nagar,” the bench noted.

Jain was arrested on Monday from Mumbai in connection with an FIR alleging that JIL, the operator of the 165 km Yamuna Expressway, and its IRP have not taken up safety measures. The FIR was lodged against the caretakers of the highway after an accident.

The top court also directed a senior official of the court to personally call the office of the concerned judge to ensure the immediate release of Jain, without imposing any conditions.

“We also issue notice to the investigating officer, Bijender Singh, as to why appropriate action is not taken against him for taking such drastic action against the applicant. He shall file his personal affidavit explaining his position within two weeks from today,” said the top court.

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