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Relief for Hero MotoCorp’s Pawan Munjal till Dec 6 as Delhi court stays proceedings based on FIR

The Delhi High Court has today stayed the proceedings till Dec 6 in a first information report filed against automobile giant Hero MotoCorp and its Chairman Pawan Munjal and officials in an alleged bill forgery case.

This week, the Delhi Police had registered a FIR on a complaint alleging forgery, falsification of accounts, criminal conspiracy, and cheating by certain officials of Hero MotoCorp.

The FIR named Pawan Munjal, and Hero MotoCorp executives Vikram Kasbekar and Hari Gupta.

However, the company said in a statement on the exchanges that this case is an old matter and pertained to the year 2009-10 with a disgruntled service provider, Brains Logistics Pvt Ltd (promoter – Roop Darshan Pandey).

In the complaint, Brains Logistics, a former vendor of Hero Honda Company, alleged that the accused colluded to and committed “the illegal acts of forgery, cheating and falsifying the books…and manufactured fake month-wise bills”. These bills, totalling Rs 5.95 crore for 2009 and 2010 were debited to the complainant, it alleged.

Brains Logistics claimed its contract with Hero MotoCorp ended on March 31, 2009, and thus all bills claiming debits to them post that date are falsified.The complaint also mentions Manjula Banerji, company auditor in 2009 and 2010, and identified as a partner in Deloitte Haskins & Sells.The petition today said, Brains Logistics in its application had misled the Delhi court by intentionally misconstruing the documents that were filed by Hero MotoCorp in arbitration proceedings that were conducted before the Arbitral Tribunal.

The documents alleged to be the bills are not the monthly bills but are summary sheets of the bills, according to the petition.

“It is in 1980’s that {Hero Honda Motors Ltd.’ came into existence and subsequently the name of the company was changed to {Hero MotoCorp Ltd.’ in 2011. Thus, upon mere change of name, the documents of the previous years i.e. of the years 2009 and 2010 cannot be invalidated or stated to beJake or false, when those documents were only certified as· true copies by -the Company existing at that point of time i.e. Hero MotoCorp Ltd.,” noted the petition.

Hero MotoCorp in the petition said Brains Logistics was well aware of the above position. However, they presented documents to the trial court in a wrong manner so that the Magistrate is misled into passing a direction for registration of FIR.

Separately, in August this year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had conducted searches on Munjal and some others as part of an investigation into an alleged money laundering case.

The searches were carried out at the residential and business premises of Munjal in Delhi and Gurgaon, and some linked entities.

In a statement, the company had at the time said, “Officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today visited two of our offices in Delhi and Gurugram and the residence of our executive chairman Dr Pawan Munjal. We continue to extend all cooperation to the agency.”

The case registered by ED originated from a complaint filed against Munjal by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the investigation branch of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

The automobile giant today also sought quashing of the trial court’s order as well all other proceedings emanating therefrom.

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