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Calcutta HC stays search proceedings against Lodha

Our Legal Correspondent

Kolkata , Dec. 9

MR Justice S. P. Mitra of Calcutta High Court has stayed all proceedings of the lower court in connection with the issuance of search warrant proposed to be served against Mr R.S. Lodha, a member of M. P. Birla Trustee Board.

Mr R.P. Pansari had made a complaint against Mr R.S. Lodha, Mr S.N. Prasad, Dr V. Gouri Shankar and Mr S. K. Daga, all trustees of M. P. Birla Trust, Under Section 120 B, read with Sections 406, 420, 417, 467 and 204 of IPC, alleging misappropriation of trust funds to the tune of Rs 2,400 crore.

On October 5, 2004, Mr Ram Jethmalani had moved the application in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore, South 24 Parganas, who directed for issuance of summons against all trustees of M.P. Birla Trust, fixing November 29, 2004 as a returnable date.

On November 29, 2004, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore, South 24 Parganas, refused to pass any order of search warrant against Mr R.S. Lodha and only directed that the notice be pasted on the door of the residence of Mr R.S. Lodha, which was closed at that time the notice was served. The magistrate also fixed December 14, as the date of the next hearing.

On an application filed by Mr S.N. Prasad, one of the members of the M. P. Birla Trust, the court passed the order, staying all proceedings of the lower court till December 16, 2004. The matter will appear on December 14, 2004. The matter was due to appear before Mr Justice D.P. Sengupta, but owing to his absence, it was taken up by the other court on a plea of urgency.

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