Shah, J. -
(2.)By order dated 8th February, 2000, the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, Government of India made a detention order under Section 3(1) of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (hereinafter referred to as "COFEPOSA Act") directing that one B. Sankar be detained and kept in custody with a view to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the augmentation of foreign exchange. The said order was served upon detenu on 15th February, 2000 along with grounds of detention and copies of the documents relied upon by the Detaining Authority. That order was challenged by filing Writ Petition (HC) No. 41 of 2000 before the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore. By the impugned judgment and order dated 2nd November, 2000, the High Court quashed and set aside the detention order on the ground that what was considered to be criminal violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as "FERA") has ceased to be so on the repeal of FERA which is replaced by the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (hereinafter referred to as "FEMA"). That order is challenged by filing this appeal.
(3.)In the detention order, it has been stated that upon receipt of information that B. Sankar was indulging in receiving and making payments in India on behalf of a resident of Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), a search was conducted at detenu's residential premises and also at his office premises on 22nd and 23rd September, 1999. As a result of the search, Indian currency of about Rs. 42,90,000/- (forty two lakhs and ninety thousand) was seized. In his statement recorded by the officers, detenu stated that during the first week of June, 1999 one Rafeeq, who was his friend, met him in his office and informed that he was doing business of collecting Saudi Riyals from Indians in Saudi Arabia and in equivalent thereof he was making arrangements for delivery of Indian rupees to various persons in India: that if he assists him in this business and receives Indian rupees as per his instructions and distributes the respective amounts to various persons as per his instructions, he would pay a commission of Rs. 200/- for every one lakhs of rupees received and distributed by him. To that proposal, detenu agreed and various transactions took place in pursuance of the aforesaid talks. Various documents were also seized from his office premises. It is also stated that when asked about the seized currency, detenu in his statement inter alia admitted that he had received it from one unknown person in Bangalore as per instructions of his friend, Mr. Rafeek, a resident of Riyadh. He also stated that his friend Rafeek from Riyadh telephonically informed him to receive a sum of Rs. 42,90,000/- in his name at Bangalore and deliver it to the persons, whose details were to be furnished by his friend Rafeek. It is alleged that in a very short span, the detenu had collected Rs. 1,67,90,000/- and had distributed Rs. 1,25,00,000/- and was doing hawala transactions. On the basis of the said material, the detention order was passed.