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LALIT KUMAR AGRAWAL (M.D.) Versus DY. DIR., DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT, GOA

2015 (8) TMI 1112 - PREVENTION OF MONEY LAUNDERING ACT

Money laundering - res judicata in the criminal complaint - Attachment of property - appellant admitted that property is not owned by her but by the company - Held that:- The action of attachment is not in relation to a person as such but essentially to freeze the proceeds of the crime. The fact that the respondents could have acted only if there was reason to believe that a person is in possession of proceeds of crime does not mean that the authorities at this stage are obliged to prove the fac .....

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ing nor such orders passed under said chapter decide what punishment is to be imposed on such accused for money laundering. Any observation made while passing orders under said chapter are not the findings for the purpose of alleged offense committed under Section 3 nor observations are the findings in the Criminal matters pending against such accused. - It is also well settled that the principle of res judicata does not apply to interlocutory orders like order of stay, injunction or appoint .....

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Shri R.K. Tiwari and Somesh Arora, Advocates, for the Appellant. Shri Naveen Matta, Advocate, for the Respondent. ORDER After some arguments the learned Counsel for the appellant/applicant states that none of the properties of the appellant have been attached by the order which is impugned by the appellant in the present appeal. 2. The plea of the applicant is that he paid the money on behalf of M/s. Alankar Alloys Pvt. Ltd. for the purchase of the property which has been attached by the im .....

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he trade mark of Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL). 5. In the present proceedings as to whether Shri Lalit Kumar Agarwal has committed the offence of Money Laundering or the predicate offence has not been adjudicated. What has been decided is whether the property which was provisionally attached was the proceed of crime and whether the provisional order was to be confirmed or not. 6. Prima facie observations made against the appellant whether he is liable for the predicate offense a .....

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/or offense of money laundering will not be res judicata in the criminal complaint and in the complaint filed for the offence of money laundering which are pending against the appellant. 7. The learned Counsel for the appellant has admitted that the appellant has no rights in the property Flat No. 7F, 2nd Floor, Singapore City, Kota which is owned by the company which is a distinct and separate entity. The prima facie observations made by the Adjudicating Authority cannot be challenged succ .....

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come to an independent finding on the basis of documents and evidence produced before them, whether the offenses alleged against the appellant have been made out or not. On the basis of the observation made in the impugned order passed under Section 8(3) of PMLA, the appellant cannot be convicted and sentenced in the criminal cases. The apprehension of the learned Counsel is, therefore, without any legal basis in the facts and circumstances. 8. The legislation has predicated two parallel p .....

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tment under consideration, no property can be confiscated unless it is attached in the first instance. The provisional attachment is an emergent measure to be taken by the Authorized Officer upon being satisfied and having reason to believe that the proceeds of crime are likely to be concealed, transferred or dealt with in any manner, which may result in frustrating any proceedings relating to confiscation of such proceeds of crime. On the basis of material in his possession, the Authorized Offi .....

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ffense or any other person - provided however, it must be shown to have proceeds of crime and further, the proceeds of crime are likely to be concealed, transferred or dealt with in any manner, which may result in frustrating any proceedings relating to confiscation of such proceeds of crime under the Act. The action of attachment is not in relation to a person as such but essentially to freeze the proceeds of the crime. The fact that the respondents could have acted only if there was reason to .....

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ture and such order do not decide finally whether an offence has been committed by an accused under Section 3 of the Act for Money Laundering nor such orders passed under said chapter decide what punishment is to be imposed on such accused for money laundering. Any observation made while passing orders under said chapter are not the findings for the purpose of alleged offense committed under Section 3 nor observations are the findings in the Criminal matters pending against such accused. Observa .....

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accused. 11. It is also well settled that the principle of res judicata does not apply to interlocutory orders like order of stay, injunction or appointment of receiver which are designed to preserve the status quo pending litigation to ensure that the parties may not be prejudiced but the normal delay which the proceedings before the Court usually take. The orders which are passed under Chapter III of PMLA are passed to ensure that the parties may not be prejudiced on account of the norma .....

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