The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-Hee to inform it by April 27 when he will surrender before a trial court in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, in connection with a $1.4 million cheating case. A bench led by justice PC Ghosh asked his senior counsel Gopal Subramanium to inform by the next date of hearing as to when he will be available to surrender before the trial court.
Complainant’s counsel Anip Sachthey told the court that the chairman should not be given a hearing until he makes personal appearance in the lower court. He further argued that the trial order’s order summoning him has been already upheld by the apex court on March 31, 2014. However, Subramanium opposed his plea saying the chairman is unwell and can’t come to India.
Earlier, the apex court in March 2014 had refused to quash the criminal proceedings against Lee Kun-Hee and had directed him to present himself before the trial court to seek bail or excuse from appearance in person. Later, the apex court had transferred all the cases pending before different courts to itself.
The Ghaziabad trial court had first issued a non-bailable warrant against Lee Kun-Hee in 2012 following his failure to show up in court in connection with a case relating to bills of exchange in respect of which payments were allegedly not made by Lee Kun-Hee. Civil dispute was being heard at courts in Dubai but a criminal complaint was filed in Ghaziabad. Samsung’s boss then had to approach the Allahabad High Court for relief.
However, the High Court declined to quash the proceedings and termed Lee Kun-Hee as an absconder. The company then moved the Supreme Court against this order. The Supreme Court had in June 2013 stayed the order of his arrest but eventually found no merit to interfere with the trial court proceedings at this stage.