JAFAR MOHAMMED HASANFATTA Vs. DEPUTY DIRECTOR
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Jafar Mohammed Hasanfatta
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(1.) The petitioners are accused in PMLA Complaint No. 3 of 2014, dated 18-7-2014 arising out of ECIR No. 01/SRT/2014. They have challenged in Revisionary Jurisdiction of this Court, the Order dated 18-7-2014 issued by the Special Court for PMLA at Ahmedabad, issuing summons against them by taking cognizance of the offence under Section 3 alleged in the said Complaint dated 18-7-2014, which is punishable under Section 4 of PMLA. It is the case of the petitioners that the impugned Order was passed despite there being no prima facie ground and absolute lack of any material evidence qua any of the petitioners to satisfy the necessary pre-requisites for invoking Section 3 of PMLA against them and essential for taking cognizance and proceeding against each of the petitioners. The PMLA complaint, subsequently filed two Supplementary Complaint Nos. 4/2014 and 9/2015, dated 29-10-2014 and 27-8-2015 respectively, Charge Sheet filed against others in the Scheduled Offence and statements recorded under PMLA before and even after cognizance are placed by the petitioners on record amongst other documents to buttress this position.
(2.) It is undisputed fact that none of these petitioners are arraigned as accused in the Scheduled Offences in which after investigations Charge Sheet has been filed. Therefore, trial of each of these accused petitioners is sought only on the alleged commission of the offence of money-laundering as prescribed under Section 3 of PMLA. Now, it is settled position of law that offence under PMLA is a distinct offence as compared to the Scheduled Offence as held by a Division Bench of this Court vide Judgment dated 16-1-2015 in Rakesh Manekchand Kothari v. Union of India in S.Cr.A. Nos. 4496 and 4672 of 2014. Whereas the generating or deriving "proceeds of crime" from the Scheduled Offence is not offence punishable under PMLA, but knowingly projecting such proceeds of crime as untainted would amount to an offence of money laundering. Therefore, merely not being an accused of Scheduled Offence would not absolve the petitioners, if there is any material to show the involvement of any of the accused petitioners in knowingly projecting proceeds of crime as untainted.
(3.) Mr. Devang Vyas, learned Assistant Solicitor for the respondent No. 1 has submitted that present revision is not maintainable at law. He has contended that the amount was remitted to the Company (Page 431) Para 31 whereby property belonging to his family members were attached, including those of present applicant Rs. 139 crores in the name of applicant No. 2 was attached. This have been confirming by the adjudicating authority. He has submitted that properties are involved in the money-laundering and during the investigation in respect of having knowledge and they received the payment and made further payment were in their name and they were signatory and having power to operate account and thereby they are involved in the case of money-laundering and, therefore, it is denied that ingredients of offence are lacking.;
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