MANISH RANGARI Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(BOM)-2020-1-145
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on January 15,2020

Manish Rangari Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) Shri Venegaonkar, the learned Counsel appears for respondent No.1 and waives notice for respondent No.1. He submits that he will make preliminary submissions only for the purpose of ad-interim relief sought by the applicants and he is reserving his right to address the Court on issues involved in the application as he is not instructed in factual aspects of the matter due to paucity of time. This is so because the learned Counsel for the applicants has pointed out that as the next date before the learned trial Court is on 20/01/2020, he is insisting for hearing the matter for grant of ad-interim relief only. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor waives notice for respondent No.2/State.
(2.) By the present application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter referred to as "the Cr.P.C ." for the sake of brevity), the applicants assail the Order dated 29/07/2019 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Mumbai (Court No.58), which I am informed is the Special Court constituted under the Companies Act , 2013, taking cognizance of offences under Sections 120B , 403 , 420 , 468 , 471 and 477A of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 211 , 209(5) , 292(2) , 372A , 628 , 629 , 227 and 233 of the Companies Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as the "1956 Act" for the sake of brevity) and Sections 449 , 129 and 217(8) of the Company Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the "2013 Act" for the sake of brevity) against the applicants and others on a complaint filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (hereinafter referred to as the "SFIO" for the sake of brevity).
(3.) Heard the learned Counsel for the applicants. He drew my attention to the impugned Order and submitted that as per Section 212(2) of the 2013 Act, the SFIO has jurisdiction to investigate the offences under the 2013 Act only. Hence, the SFIO's investigation in relation to alleged activities of the National Spot Exchange Limited (hereinafter referred to as the "NSEL" for the sake of brevity) and subsequent complaint for the offences under the Indian Penal Code and under the 1956 Act is without jurisdiction. Therefore, the impugned Order taking cognizance of the offences under the Indian Penal Code and the 1956 Act based on such a without jurisdiction investigation and complaint is illegal. He further submitted that the various offences under the 2013 Act of which cognizance has been taken came into force only with effect from 12/09/2013 ( Section 449 ) and 01/04/2014 ( Sections 129 and 217 ), whereas the underlying alleged violations at NSEL's exchange platform have all occurred on or before 31 st July 2013 as per the averments made in Paragraph 4 of the SFIO complaint itself. That being so, prosecution of the applicants under the 2013 Act for such prior violations is impermissible under Article 20(1) of the Constitution of India which grants protection against ex post facto laws. He further argued that for the same underlying transactions arising out of the payment defaults at NSEL, applicant No.3 NSEL and others are already facing prosecution for offences under the Indian Penal Code before the learned MPID Court and the learned CBI Court, Mumbai. Similarly, for various violations under the 1956 Act discovered during inspection of NSEL by the Central Government, NSEL and others are already facing prosecution before the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, Girgaon, Mumbai on complaints filed by the Registrar of Companies. That being so, the subsequent prosecution of NSEL and others for the same underlying transactions is not permissible in view of the embargo against "double jeopardy" enshrined under Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India and Section 300 of the Cr.P.C.;


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