Commercial High Court on September 19, 2018 granted an interim order on Ceylon & Foreign Trades PLC (CFT) and its directors Ali Asger Shabbir and Malayandi Jayaprakash restraining them from disposing, alienating and encumbering any of the CFT assets on the grounds of oppression and mismanagement until the conclusion of the case.
Petitioners of the case had contended that Ali Asger Shabbir has violated statutory provisions of the Companies Act and committed financial fraud by disposing the main assets of CFT prejudicial to the interest of the company and further suppressing these acts from shareholders causing irreparable damage and putting the petitioners in an uncompensatable disadvantage.
CFT is an asset-rich company and has held a number of very valuable real estate properties. It has been contended that CFT Chairman/MD Ali Asger Shabbir had mortgaged and sold a number of these properties including its office premises without prior board approval at prices 20 – 23 percent lower than its book value.
Counsel for Ali Asger Shabbir, Kamran Aziz attorney-at-law argued in court that this was not a sale at a lesser than book value but merely money lending and conditional transfer.
However, the petitioners’ counsel Manoj Bandara attorney-at-law counter argued that the land registry entry along with the deed of transfer clearly showed that the land and premises were an absolute transfer with no conditions attached.
The case will be taken up in open courts on October 29.