Cases of default: HC refuses to accept ex-president of Mantri Realty to travel to Nepal; take note of the risk of not returning


The Bombay High Court has denied permission to Sunil Mantri, former chairman of Mantri Realty Ltd who is accused in default of payment cases, to travel to Nepal to attend the wedding of his friend’s daughter, noting that s he is allowed to leave the country then there would be hopeless for the creditors.

Mantri, who is accused of defaulting on loans worth Rs 300 crore, has applied for permission to visit Nepal from June 2-8. Mantri’s businesses are in liquidation after he failed to return the Rs 300 crore to creditors. A bench of Justice Abhay Ahuja’s vacation in an order passed on Wednesday, a copy of which was made available on Thursday, said that reading previous orders passed by the courts on the matter highlights the ”dishonest, recalcitrant conduct, uncooperative and contemptuous of the plaintiff”.

Judge Ahuja noted that a reading of the previous orders ”clearly indicates that if he were allowed to leave the country, there would be no hope for the creditors” and that from the orders, it appears that Mantri was the ”kingpin of the case”.

”Allowing a recalcitrant person to leave the country would be too risky. In my view, this would be detrimental to the interests of creditors and apartment buyers who have been awaiting justice for so many years,” Judge Ahuja said.

The H&C in its order further noted that Plaintiff Mantri’s conduct was “dishonest and abusive” of the orders of this tribunal and that his prior conduct did not inspire the confidence necessary to let Plaintiff leave the country.

”It is difficult to digest that after having tricked several creditors/apartment buyers, the applicant wishes to go to Nepal for the marriage of the daughter of an alleged friend. If the requested trip had been for the purpose of raising funds to pay off innocent creditors/apartment buyers, that would have been a different matter,’ the court said.

Mantri’s lawyer, Abad Ponda, argued that although a passport was not required to travel to Nepal, the applicant, out of respect for the court and to prove his credibility, requested permission. In January 2016, the HC prevented Mantri and three directors of the company from leaving the country.

Ponda argued that Mantri has a basic right to travel and that he has not run away in the past six years and would not do the same now.

Attorney Prathamesh Kamat, representing the official liquidator, opposed the plea and said Mantri’s conduct was despicable and he was an obstacle in the entire liquidation process which began in 2016.

Mantri’s presence is required for the trial in the many cases filed against him and there are fears that he is on the run and it would be difficult to find him if he is allowed to travel to Nepal, Kamat said.

Judge Ahuja in the order noted that several motions and claims have been filed by creditors and apartment buyers for claims against Mantri and his colleagues which amount to millions of rupees.

“Plaintiff appears to have neither cooperated with the liquidation process nor made payments to creditors/apartment buyers,” the court said while denying Mantri’s motion.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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