Gupta company directors lose court bid – assets remain under restraint
The high court in Bloemfontein on Friday dismissed a last-minute application by the directors of Gupta-owned company Islandsite Investments 180 (Pty) Ltd in the restraint application brought by the Investigating Directorate (ID).
The directors had sought to postpone the return date of the provisional restraint order granted in June last year against Islandsite as well as alleged Gupta associate Iqbal Sharma and his company.
They were seeking a postponement pending their application to the Supreme Court of Appeal to appeal against the August 2021 ruling by Free State judge president Cagney Musi.
Musi had ruled in August that the business rescue practitioners of Islandsite, and not its directors, have the authority to represent Islandsite in the restraint proceedings.
The directors had sought to represent the company in the legal proceedings, despite the fact that Islandsite was placed under voluntary business rescue in 2018 and two business rescue practitioners represented its interests.
The directors sought leave to appeal against Musi’s order. That application was dismissed on April 28.
The matter was set to be heard on Thursday for the business rescue practitioners for Islandsite, Sharma and his company Nulane Investment to show cause why the provisional restraint order should not be confirmed pending the criminal trial of Sharma, Nulane and Islandsite. But the directors of Islandsite sought a postponement.
On Friday, acting judge Neil Snellenburg said he would provide written reasons for dismissing the postponement application on Monday.
“The interim restraint order remains in force until the next court hearing on October 20-21, when the confirmation hearing is expected to be heard,” ID spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said.
She said the assets under restraint include property of Sharma and his wife, his United Arab Emirates-registered company, Issar Global, as well as all property of Islandsite.
Islandsite is owned by Atul and Rajesh Gupta and their respective wives, Chetali and Arti Gupta.
Sharma’s assets that form part of the curator’s inventory include his Sandton home valued at more than R12m, movable property valued at R500 000, a Porsche and a R1.3m sectional title home in Sandton.
Properties owned by Islandsite that form part of the inventory include a house worth R21m in Constantia, Cape Town, and a R12m house in Saxonwold, Johannesburg.
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