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Nitin Desai suicide: Bombay HC to hear pleas of Edelweiss officials on August 11

Nitin Desai
Image Source : FILE IMAGE Nitin Desai suicide

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said it would hear the petitions of Edelweiss Financial Services Chairman Rashesh Shah and Edelweiss ARC MD and CEO Raj Kumar Bansal seeking quashing of the FIR registered against them for allegedly abetting the suicide of renowned film art director Nitin Desai. Apart from Shah and Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company’s MD Bansal, company official Smit Shah, another person named Keur Mehta, and Jitender Kothari, who was appointed by the NCLT as an interim resolution professional, have also moved the HC seeking for the FIR to be quashed.

Their pleas would also be heard on Friday (August 11). They have in their pleas also sought interim protection from any coercive action. Senior counsel Amit Desai, appearing for Bansal, Shah and two other accused, mentioned the matter before a division bench headed by Justice N W Sambre and sought urgent hearing.

Senior counsel Aabad Ponda, appearing for Kothari, told the court that Kothari “has no role to play and that he was not even able to perform his duty”. The bench agreed to hear the petitions on August 11.

Nitin Desai was found hanging at his studio at Karjat in Maharashtra’s Raigad district on August 2. On August 4 his wife approached the Khalapur police station to register an FIR into his death. Following this, an abetment to suicide case was registered against Shah and Bansal. The FIR was also registered against Kothari and two others under Indian Penal Code sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (common intention).

Desai’s company ND’s Art World Pvt Ltd had defaulted on a Rs 252 crore loan repayment to creditors and the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal had initiated insolvency proceedings against it. Edelweiss ARC, in a statement, had denied that any undue pressure was put on Desai for loan recovery.

The Raigad police, who are conducting an investigation into Desai’s death, have found 11 audio clips in a voice recorder at the art director’s office, an official said last week. In one of the voice notes found after his alleged suicide, Desai criticised a financial services firm to which his company owed money, the police said. Desai also purportedly said he had walked a long road, and could not go any further.

In one of these clips or voice notes, he was heard saying his company could not come out of the financial crisis it was facing because of the procedure adopted by the financial services firm, the police said. Shah and Bansal in their pleas claimed they had merely followed the official procedure for recovery.

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(With Inputs from PTI, Suraj Ojha)

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