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M/s. Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt. Ltd. Versus Union of India, Director of Enforcement, The Joint Director Directorate of Enforcement, The Assistant Director, Directorate of Enforcement

2017 (1) TMI 461 - MADRAS HIGH COURT

Maintainability of the writ petitions before this Court - whether issue involved in these writ petitions relate to 2G Spectrum Case and therefore, this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain these writ petitions? - Held that:- Since the investigation carried on by the respondents is being monitored by the Honourable Supreme Court, it is too early for this Court to take up these writ petitions for adjudication on merits. Consequently, the preliminary objection raised on behalf of the respondents .....

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cate for Mr. R. Parthiban Mr. R. Krishnamoorthy, Senior Advocate for Mr. R. Parthiban Mr. R. Parthiban For the Respondents : Mr. Anand GroverMrs. G. Hema, Central Government ORDER By consent of counsel on either side, the writ petitions are taken up for final disposal. 2. The only point raised and argued in all these writ petitions is as regards the maintainability of the writ petitions before this Court. A preliminary objection has been raised by the respondents as regards the maintainability o .....

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t with or adjudicated by the Honourable Supreme Court and this Court has no jurisdiction to exercise the power conferred under Article 226 of The Constitution of India to grant any relief in these writ petitions. Thus, the arguments advanced by counsel on either side was mainly confined to whether this Court has got jurisdiction to entertain these writ petitoins as the dispute involved in these writ petitions relates to 2G Spectrum scam. Therefore, these writ petitions are taken up for disposal .....

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akhs, it cannot be brought under the purview of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (in short PMLA) and therefore the question of invocation of the provisions of PMLA will arise only if the amount involved is more than ₹ 30 lakhs. Even according to the enforcement directorate, the alleged transaction in question is only ₹ 26,00,444/- which is less than ₹ 30 lakhs and therefore the Enforcement Directorate has no jurisdiction to investigate the case. It is further contended that t .....

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ia. Therefore, the payment of ₹ 26,00,444/- by AVTL owned by Mr. Sivasankaran to ASCPL on 11.04.2006 cannot be linked to FIPB approval on 20.03.2006. It is further contended that the Endorcement Directorate will have jurisdiction only if a scheduled offence is committed. The occurrence of a scheduled offence called the 'predicate offence' is a condition precedent for initiating investigation into the offence of money laundering under the provisions of PMLA. Predicate/scheduled offe .....

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ence of a report under Section 13 of Cr.P.C. the Enforcement Directorate will have no jurisdiction to investigate into circumstances leading to the grant of FIPB approval and consequently into the payment of ₹ 26,00,444/- by AVTL to ASCPL. 4. According to the petitioner, the question of placing reliance on the order dated 10.02.2011 by the Honourable Supreme Court to the facts of this case has no application and it will not be a bar for entertaining this writ petition before this Court. Ac .....

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CBI in connection with FIPB approval, the enforcement directorate cannot commence any investigation into the said transaction because it would be doing so without there being any proceeds of the crime held out by the accused as untainted money. Lastly, it is contended that the order of Supreme Court is dated 10.02.2011. The complaint in Aircel Maxis Case (Maran Brothers) was filed by the CBI on 09.10.2011 and the Enforcement Directorate filed the complaint on 07.02.2012. While so, the order date .....

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he present case, as the petitioner challenges the authority of the respondents to conduct searches without any authority of law and the officer who issued the warrant of authorisation under Section 37 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (in short FEMA), the officer who issued the warrant had issued such warrant without any reason to believe that the petitioner had violated the provisions of FEMA In such view of the matter, the petitioner would contend that the writ petition is maintainable be .....

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73, 32274 and 32275 of 2016 have been filed by Mr. CBN Reddy, Mr. Ravi Viswanathan, Mrs. Padma Bhaskararaman and Mr. Mohanan Rajesh, who are directors of the petitioner company. In all these writ petitions, the petitioners have raised similar grounds as stated in WP No. 40240 of 2015 and the arguments adopted in WP No. 40240 of 2015 and WP Nos. 32272 to 32275 of 2016 are identical and common. 6. WP No. 31288 of 2016 has been filed by Mr. Karti P. Chidambaram seeking to quash the summons dated 19 .....

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to whether the offences for which the summons have been sent to him relates to a scheduled offence and what are the proceeds of the crime and how the petitioner is involved in such activity connected with the proceeds of the crime. Since there was no response to the legal notice, the petitioner earlier filed WP No.3 1288 of 2016 to quash the summons contending that he has reasons to believe that such summons have been issued to him are motivated by malice in law and malice in fact on the part of .....

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t petition. In the earlier writ petition also, a preliminary objection has been raised stating that investigation under PMLA is ongoing and is being conducted to collect the details from various organisations and persons having knowledge with FIPB approval given on 20.03.2006 to Maxis to acquire the shares of Aircel Limited. The respondents in the said writ petition have also relied on the order of the Honourable Supreme Court dated 10.02.2011 in Criminal Appeal No. 10660 of 2000 and therefore i .....

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ts filed after 10.02.2011. Thus, the jurisdiction of this Court to issue writs under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot be ousted unless there is a specific order of the Honourable Supreme Court relating to Aircel Maxis case. It is further contended that the Enforcement Directorate has no jurisdiction to investigate the FIPB approval or any of the transactions mentioned above under PMLA in the absence of a predicate/scheduled offence being registered by the CBI. According to the pet .....

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e being made in relation to the FIPB approval and consequently, the question of Enforcement Directorate carrying out any investigation into the alleged proceeds of crime generated through the commission of a scheduled offence will not arise. There can be no proceedings under the PMLA in the absence of a charge sheet alleging the commission of underlying scheduled offence. In this context, reliance was placed on the decision in the case of Mahanivesh Oils and Foods Pvt Ltd., vs. Directorate of En .....

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in which FIPB approval was given. After filing of the charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis case, the agency has filed a status report before the Honourable Supreme Court which was also recorded in the order dated 09.09.2015. It is further stated that the CBI has recorded the statements of various officials, including his statement on 06.12.2014. Thereafter, on 28.08.2014, the CBI has filed the charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis case. In such view of the matter, the former Finance Minister, in his aff .....

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inary enquiry in to the grant of FIPB approval and CBI has not filed any complaint leading to the circumstances relating to issuance of FIPB approval. In such circumstances, in the absence of any predicate offence having been registered by the CBI into the circumstances leading to the grant of FIPB approval, there cannot be any proceeds of crime and consequently the enforcement directorate has no jurisdiction to carry out any investigation under the provisions of PMLA. The enforcement directorat .....

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he CBI, the enforcement directorate has no jurisdiction to commence an investigation under PMLA. When the investigation conducted by the enforcement directorate under the provisions of PMLA into the grant of FIPB approval is not lawful, they cannot rely on the order dated 10.02.2011 to oust the jurisdiction of this Court to hear this writ petition. 9. According to the petitioner, the power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is enormous and when the fundamental rights of the persons a .....

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. Acccording to the petitioner, there is no mention as to how the petitioner is connected with the commission of offence even assuming it is an offence related to 2G spectrum case. The petitioner is neither a Director nor a shareholder of M/s. Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited. Therefore, according to the petitioner, it is strange that an FIPB approval granted during March 2006 could be connected to the aforesaid order of transfer and re-transfer of shares during March/October 2011. .....

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f US Dollar 103,624 (for the year 2007-09); US Dollar 59,016 (for the year 2009-2011) and US Dollar 32,190 (for the year 2009-2010) but it has not registered any complaint or charge sheet in respect of those transactions. Therefore, it is vehemently contended that enforcement directorate has no jurisdiction to investigate the said transactions or issue summons to the petitioner in connection with those transactions. Even for the notices sent by the CBI on 09.06.2016 and 03.08.2016, M/s. Chess Ma .....

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onnection with the above transactions. Therefore, it is contended that in view of the fact that CBI has not filed charge sheet in respect of the predicate offence in relation to the circumstances leading to FIPB approval or the receipt of ₹ 26,00,444/- by M/s. Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited or the three transactions concerning M/s. Chess Management Services Limited, no further investigation by the enforcement directorate under the PMLA is warranted or jurisdictionally compe .....

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der the caption "investigations under the provisions of the PMLA". By the said communication dated 16.05.2016, the second respondent has enclosed a list of 26 companies (which includes the 9 petitioners in this writ petition) with their PAN numbers which are under investigation of a law enforcement agency. According to the petitioners, the communication states that information on the bank account details as well as details of CTRs and STRs, if filed by the financial institutions, is re .....

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ectly connected with Mr. Karti P. Chidambaram who is the son of former Finance Minister of India and presently Member of Parliament. According to the petitioners, even companies with a tenuous link with Karti P. Chidambaram have been targeted and included in the schedule to the impugned communication on the basis of malafide intention and politically motivated targets. Out of the 26 companies to which the notice was sent, four companies do not exist at all and their names have already been struc .....

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entire investigation conducted by Enforcement Directorate against the 26 companies is vitiated by malice of law and without jurisdiction. 13. The petitioners would mainly contend that the communication dated 16.05.2016 is an unsigned communication and it has been sent to all the financial institutions under the caption "investigations under the provisions of the PMLA". In the said communication, the second respondent herein had enclosed a list of 26 companies with their PAN number. Th .....

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nce as defined in Section 3 of PMLA. The enforcement directorate cannot conduct a fishing or roving enquiry into the affairs of any person or citizen. The petitioners are entirely in the dark of what is the investigation being carried on against them under the provisions of PMLA. This is obvious from a reading of the schedule attached to the impugned communication. An investigation in respect of a scheduled offence unde rSection 3 of the PMLA against the petitioners would therefore be grossly vi .....

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ch circumstances, according to the petitioners, the impugned communication has been issued without anthority of law and it lacks jurisdiction. In such circumstances, the petitioners seek for quashing the communication which is impugned in these writ petitions. WP No. 36736 of 2016:- 14. This writ petition has been filed by M/s. Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited for a Mandamus directing the respondents to return the small plastic folder containing Indian Overseas Bank Deposit Receipt .....

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y are engaged in the business of consultancy with professionals in the field. The petitioner has set up a subsidiary in Singapore. The petitioner has been regularly filing FLA statement being the form of annual return on foreign liabilities and assets showing the summary of foreign assets and liabilities. Thus, all the assets and liabilities of the petitioner and its Singapore subsidiary are in the form of records with Reserve Bank of India and Registrar of Companies. While so, without any reaso .....

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isions of Section 37 of FEMA. 15. In the present writ petition, the petitioner would contend that during the course of search in the residence of Mr. C.B.N. Reddy, Director of the petitioner company, among other documents, the officials of the endorcement directorate have seized one small plastic folder containing Original Indian Overseas Bank Deposit Receipts No. 35160 dated 08.03.2014; 351999 dated 08.03.2014, 351598 dated 08.03.2014 and 351597 dated 08.03.2014. According to the petitioner, si .....

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t there was no response. On 23.09.2016, another notice was sent to the second respondent reiterating the very same demand for return of the documents, but there was no response. The petitioner was therefore constrained to file an application dated 30.09.2016 before the respondents under Section 37 (3) read with Section 132 (8), 8A and 10 of the Income Tax Act seeking return of the plastic folder containing the original Indian Overseas Bank Deposit Receipts seized on 01.12.2015. As there was no r .....

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they have raised a preliminary objection as regards maintainability of these writ petitions before this Court. According to the respondents, the investigations done by the department relates to 2G spectrum scam case and the Aircel-maxis case. Therefore, only the Honourable Supreme Court has jurisdiction to decide whether the present case is related to investigation carried on with respect to the financial irregularities committed by Aircel Maxis or not. 17. The respondents placed reliance on the .....

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mitted in the grant of licenses during the period between 2001 and 2006-2007. On 04.01.2011, the CBI registered a Preliminary Enquiry Registration Report bearing No. PE-DAI-011-A-001. On 10.02.2011, the Honourable Supreme Court in the case in CPIL vs. Union of India reported in (2013) 8 SCC 18 directed that no Court shall pass any order which in any manner impedes the investigation being carried out by the CBI and Directorate of Enforcement. In the order dated 11.04.2011, the Honourable Supreme .....

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t in WP No. 70 of 2012, wherein by an order dated 24.02.2012, the Delhi High Court refused to entertain the writ petition on the ground that Supreme Court is monitoring the investigation with respect to 2G spectrum scam. 18. Pursuant to the directions issued by the Honourable Supreme Court, the CBI and Enforcement Directorate have filed status report before the Honourable Supreme Court in relation to the investigation under PE/DAL/2011 A 0001 on 01.09.2011, 28.09.2011, 10.10.2011. Subsequently, .....

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Honourable Supreme Court is seized of the cases and no other Court, including this Court, has no jurisdiction over such investigation carried on by the respondent. 19. It is also brought to the notice of this Court that on 29.08.2014, CBI has filed charge sheet against Mr. Dayanidhi Maran before the Special Court having jurisdiction over the case. This case relates to the investigation carried on relating to grant of FIPB approval in relation to the take over of Aircel Limited by Maxis Bhd., th .....

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assed by the learned Special Judge was upheld by the Honourable Supreme Court on 17.10.2016. 20. It is the vehement contention of the respondents that on 07.02.2012, the Enforcement Directorate recorded an Enforcement Case Information Report bearing No. ECIR/05/D/2012 and commenced investigation in to Aircel-Maxis Case under the provisions of PMLA. The enforcement directorate filed a complaint dated 08.01.2016 (Enforcement Directorate vs. Dayanidhi Maran) before the Special Court. As per the com .....

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ioned in these writ petitions relates to and arising out of FIPB approval in the Aircel Maxis case which has been held to be a 2G spectrum scam case. Further, the learned Special Judge, in the order dated 27.02.2016 (ED vs. Dayanidhi Maran) in C.C. No. 1 of 2016 granted leave to the enforcement directorate to continue the on-going investigation and to take action as per law. 21. As far as the summons issued to the petitioners are concerned, they are issued under the same ECIR/05/DZ/2012 recorded .....

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to companies from Astro All Asia Network Pte., Maxis Mobile Sdn., Bhd., Malaysia and Bumi Armada Borhad, Malaysia to the tune of US Dollar 11,000. It is specifically contended that the summons also relates to the payment of ₹ 26,00,444/- made by the petitioner company namely Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd., 22. According to the respondents, the provisions of Section 65 of PMLA provides that the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code shall apply in so far as they are not inconsistent .....

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bout the FIPB clearance. 23. It is stated that the communication dated 16.05.2016, which is challenged in WP No. 35844 of 2016 was issued to banks and not to petitioner companies. The letter was issued in exercise of powers under Section 12A of PMLA read with the guidelines issued in the notification No.5/2005 dated 01.07.2005. Such letters were sent on behalf of FIU on the basis of request made by the Directorate of Enforcement under the provisions of PMLA. Since those letters were sent by elec .....

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e, it is too early for the petitioners to allege that the investigation did not disclose a predicate offence. When the investigation is in progress and it is yet to reach a finality, the petitioners cannot be allowed to contend that a predicate offence has not been made out and therefore the investigation carried on by the respondent is vitiated. Therefore, the respondents prayed for dismissal of the writ petition on the ground that this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain them and no relief .....

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rectorate is not currently investigating the petitioners under PMLA and FEMA as a part of its investigations into 2G spectrum scam which is being continuously monitored by the Honourable Supreme Court. Even as per the summons dated 09.09.2016 issued to the petitioners under Section 37 of FEMA, 1999 read with Section 131 (1) of Income Tax Act, 1961 and Section 30 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reference was made only to the file No. T-3/78/CEZO/C/2015 and such summons does not state that the att .....

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tioners to ventilate their grievance before this Court by invoking the inherent jurisdiction conferred under Article 226 of The Constitution of India, it is alleged that the investigation carried on against the petitioners is relatable to 2G Spectrum case. The petitioners are in no way connected with the charge sheet filed by the CBI as against Mr. Dayanidhi Maran on 29.08.2014 before the Special Court. Pending CBI investigation relating to FIPB approval, there is no predicate or scheduled offen .....

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o the 2G Spectrum or to the Aircel-maxis transaction. Therefore, the investigation carried on by the endorcement directorate against the petitioners has no nexus or connection to the order passed by the Honourable Supreme Court and consequently, the writ petition before this Court filed by the petitioners is maintainable. The instant summons issued to the petitioners cannot be used against them to conduct a rowing or fishing enquiry. The order dated 10.02.2011 passed by the Honourable Supreme Co .....

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dictional facts and consequently, the summons issued to the petitioners has to be set aside as they were unconstitutional, without jurisdiction and illegal. The CBI has not mentioned the names of the petitioners in the charge sheet filed in Aircel-maxis case. It is further stated that the enforcement directorate has not followed the procedures established under law before initiating the investigation against the petitioners under PMLA or FEMA. The offence under Section 3 of the PMLA is a non-cog .....

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. I heard the learned counsels on either side and given my anxious consideration to the rival submissions made. I have also gone through the material records produced by the counsel on either side, including the affidavits filed in support of the writ petitions, counter affidavits filed by the respondents, reply affidavit filed by the petitioners to the counter affidavits filed by the petitioners, written submissions made by both sides. 27. The whole argument made on behalf of both sides pertain .....

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nly contend that the investigation carried on by the department, which is the subject matter of these writ petitions, relate to and arise out of first information reports registered during the year 2006. The investigation mainly relates to the FIPB approval granted by then Finance Minister of the Country. According to the learned Senior counsel, in the garb of investigation, the officials attached to the enforcement directorate, only to harass the petitioners and their family members and to comp .....

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le Finance Minister himself has filed an affidavit before this Court stating that he and other persons have been examined by the CBI and pursuant to such examination, the CBI has not made any complaint or charge sheet thereof. In the absence of a complaint or charge sheet, the question of carrying out any investigation will not arise. Further, in the affidavit, it was clearly stated by the then Finance Minister that FIPB approval was granted by him even during the year 2006 in his capacity as a .....

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#8377; 26,00,444/- by the petitioner company - Advantage Strategic Company Limited (ASCPL) an Indian Company (AVTL) from another Indian Company (ASCPL) in Indian rupee for the services rendered by the said company and the question of invoking the provisions of PMLA would arise only if the amount involved is more than ₹ 30 lakhs. In such circumstances, according to the learned Senior counsel for the petitiners, the transaction in question cannot be construed to be a transaction within the m .....

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intainable before this Court and consequently he prayed this Court to entertain the writ petitions for being disposed of on merits. 28. On the contrary, Mr. Anand Grover, learned Special Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondents would vehemently contend that since the investigation carried on by the respondents pertains to and arise out of the 2G spectrum case, progress of which is being monitored by the Honourable Supreme Court, no Courts inthe Country has jurisdiction any case arising ou .....

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urisdiction of this Court is ousted. It is further vehemently contended that investigation into the FIPB approval is still going on. Such investigation has been commenced to investigate the irregularities in the 2G spectrum scam. Even though charge sheet has been filed in the Aircel-maxis case even in the year 2014, in the charge sheet, it has been clearly stated that as far as FIPB approval is concerned, the investigation is yet to be completed. On 27.02.2016, the Special Court where the compla .....

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progress of the investigation being carried on by CBI as well as the Enforcement Directorate. The investigation which the respondent are presently carried on is part of the reports filed before the Honourable Supreme Court and therefore, according to the learned Special Public Prosecutor, the jurisdiction of this Court is specifically ousted to entertain these writ petitions. 29. In this connection, the learned Special Public Prosecutor relied on the complaint filed under PMLA before the learned .....

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t;M/s. Global Communication Service Holdings Ltd., Mauritius had sought FIPB approval for 800 Millions USD for which Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was competent to grant approval. However, the approval was granted by the then Finance Minister. Further, investigation is being carried out into the circumstances of said FIPB approval granted by the then Finance Minister. The related issues are also being investigated. 15. It is most respectfully submitted further that investigation, .....

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rofile of ASCPL reveals, inter alia, that it was incorporated on 12.07.2005 in Chennai. At the time of incorporation, 10,000 shares were issued, which were held by Ms. Padma Viswanathan and Sh. Ravi Viswanathan. This company was brought under the control of the individual and two companies namely Ausbridge Holdings and Investments Pvt Ltd., (Ausbridge) and Kriya FMCG Distributors Pvt Ltd., (KFDPL) subsequently. In the year 2009, Sh. CBN Reddy and KFDPL Ltd., were allotted 19% shares and in the y .....

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hare of ASCPL was ₹ 140.33 on 31.03.2010 and ₹ 1219 as on 31.03.2011. The net-worth of ASCPL in the year 2011 appears to be ₹ 18 crore approx. 18. It is revealed further during the course of investigation under PMLA that the company ASCPL was already in financial transactions with the other companies namely M/s. Chess Health Care Solutions Pvt. Ltd., M/s Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd., and M/s. Halidon Marketing Pvt Ltd., since the F.Y. 2005-2006. It is most respectfully su .....

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ith the rate at which the shares were issued to the promoters. 20. It is most respectfully submitted that during the course of investigation under PMLA, it is revealed, inter-alia, that the net worth of 5% equity shares of VHCPL held by ASCPL was ₹ 102.65 crore in 2009, ₹ 177.22 crore in 2010 and ₹ 206.58 crore in 2011. The share of VHCPL reached upto ₹ 2358.49 including premium in 2011-2012. The investigation indicates further that M/s. Sequoia Capital India Investments .....

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issued Letters of Request on 01.12.2015 under Section 57 of PMLA to Singapore and UK for investigation outside India. Execution Reports of the Letters of Request are awaited. 22. The complainant craves leave of this Honourable Court to file further supplementary complaint (s) under PMLA on the basis of the outcome of ongoing investigation in and outside India. 30. By placing reliance on the above averments contained in the complaint, the learned Special Public Prosecutor would contend that afte .....

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ned Special Public Prosecutor would contend that in the earlier round of litigation before this Court, which involved attachment proceedings under PMLA in relatin to the Aircel Maxis investigation, by order dated 10.06.2015, this Court dismissed WP No. 12464 of 2015 filed by Kal Communication Pvt Ltd., holding that this Court has no jurisdiction to entertian the writ petition. In the above said order, this Court has noted the investigation done by the CBI regarding the allegations relating to FI .....

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y of the respondent to carry out investigation under PMLA and FEMA. According to the learned Special Public Prosecutor, all the cases related and referable to 2G Spectrum Case is being monitored by the Honourable Supreme Court. The present case also involves investigation being carried out by the enforcement directorate under PMLA and FEMA relating to and in connection with Aircel Maxis case and therefore this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain these writ petitions. 32. Mr. Gopal Subramaniam .....

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such summons issued to the petitioners could form the basis for ousting the jurisdiction of this Court is his contention. I find no force in such submissions made by the learned Senior counsel for the petitioners. While issuing summons, the respondents need not elaborate or indicate the details as to whether the investigation proposed to be carried out by them is relatable to 2G Spectrum case or not. In any event, in order to show that the investigation is in progress, the respondents have prod .....

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s case is in progress. CBI has requested the Income Tax official to pursue the matter with CIT, Chennai for providing the required documents which are sought by CBI in the Aircel-Maxis Case. 33. Similarly, in the minutes of the meeting held on 11.11.2016, reference was made to the fact that investigation into the Aircel-Maxis case is still in progress. 34. The learned Senior counsel for the petitioners raised an objection for production of the copies of the minutes of the meeting by the learned .....

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isprove the contentions raised on behalf of the petitioners, he has produced a copy of the minutes of the meeting. In any event, according to the learned Public Prosecutor, the investigation is still going on. At this stage, the learned Public Prosecutor, in a carefully worded submissions, would state that "investigation is going on and the investigation ultimately may or may not result in a predicated offence against the petitioners". Therefore, according to the learned Special Public .....

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not can also be decided only by the Honourable Supreme Court of India and this Court has no jurisdiction to decide the same. 36. Yet another argument advanced by Mr. Gopal Subramaniam, learned Senior counsel for petitioners is the respondent has no jurisdiction to carry out any investigation against the petitioners under the provisions of PMLA, unless a predicated offence is made out against them, which is mandatory for carrying out an investigation. This submission of the learned Senior counsel .....

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that investigation is required to be carried out relating to the manner in which FIPB approval has been granted by the then Finance Minister. Further, in the complaint, the Enforcement Directorate has sought permission and/or leave to carry out further investigation which has also been granted by the Special Court. Therefore, based on such leave granted by the Special Court, the Enforcement Directorate has got every right to continue the investigation and to file a supplementary charge sheet as .....

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10.02.2011. On 10.02.2011 the Supreme Court in CPIL vs. Union of India passed an order holding that no Court shall pass any order which may, in any manner, impede the investigation being carried on either by the CBI or the Directorate of Enforcement. Such an order was reiterated by the Honourable Supreme Court in the subsequent order passed on 11.04.2011 in the case of CPIL vs. Union of India (2012) 3 SCC 117 holding that any prayer for either staying or impeding the trial could only be made to .....

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DAI 2011 A 0022 which pertains to the irregularities said to have been committed in the Aircel Maxis case. Subsequently, on 29.08.2014, CBI has filed charge sheet in CBI vs. Dayanithi Maran before the Special Court, the investigation of which includes grant of FIPB approval given by the then Finance Minister in relation to the take over of Aircel Limited by Maxis Bhd through Global Communication Services Holdings Limited and "related issues" the investigation of which, according to the .....

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7.10.2016 in the case of South Asia Entertainment Holdings Limited vs CBI in Special Criminal Case No. 7397 of 2016. Therefore, by relying on the above orders passed by the Honourable Supreme Court, the contentions raised by the learned Special Public Prosecutor that the investigation presently carried on by the enforcement Directorate against the petitioners is relatable and referable to 2G Spectrum Case and consequently, this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain these writ petitions, is acce .....

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nvestigation is not warranted and they need not undergo the ordeal of subjecting themselves with such an investigation. Such a submission cannot be countenanced. Whether a prima facie case has been made out for investigation or whether the investigation pertains to 2G spectrum or not cannot be decided by this Court in these writ petitions, at this stage. As the investigation carried on by the respondents is being monitored by the Honourable Supreme Court and the Honourable Supreme Court is seize .....

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irectly or indirectly impeding the investigation carried on by the respondents. 40. The learned Special Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondents brought to the notice of this Court the order dated 17.04.2013 passed by the Honourable Supreme Court in I.A. Nos. 36, 38 to 57 and 58 in Civil Appeal Nos. 10660 of 2010. It is evident from the said order that the counsel representing the CBI has handed over three sealed envelopes containing progress report dated 20.02.2013, Note regarding invest .....

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show that the investigation into 2G Spectrrum Case was in progress and the Honourable Supreme Court is periodically monitoring such investigation conducted by the CBI as also the Enforcement Directorate. 41. Mr. Gopal Subramaniam, learned Senior Counsel for the petitioners made a reference to the order passed by this Court in WP No. 12464 and 12465 of 2015 on 10.06.2015 in the case of Kal Communication Private Limited vs. Directorate of Enforcement wherein this Court has held that it has no jur .....

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by them arise out of the same complaint. In the summons issued to the petitioners, which are impugned in some of the writ petitions, the petitioners were asked to produce certain documents for consideration. Though much arguments has been advanced by the learned Senior counsel for the petitioners that the documents sought for by the respondents is unnecessary or irrelevant and they have no connection to the investigation sought to be made, this Court and those documents are sought for only to co .....

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st the petitioners. Even in the original complaint filed before the Special Court, by the Enforcement Directorate, the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused were under Section 120 (b) of IPC and the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. In such view of the matter, the present investigation carried on by the respondents against the petitioners will not come under the purview of 2G spectrum case. In this context, useful reference can be made to the order dated 01.07.2013 .....

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cognisance of the offence specified in sub-section (1) of Section 3 and conspiracy in relation to them. Whle trying any case, the Special Judge may also try an offence other than the offence specified in sub-section (1) of Section 3, in view of sub-section (3) of Section 4. It was also held that a Magistrate cannot take cogniswance of offence as specified in Sectin 3 (1) of thew Prevention of Corruption Act. It was further held in the order dated 01.07.2013 that in that case, the petitiners were .....

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and more demands are now coming before the Courts for its monitoring of investigation relating to crimes committed by influential persons and persons who have political influence, with the apprehension that they could derail the investigation. Courts in public interest sometime have to take such a course in the larger public interest. That burden this Court has discharged in various cases like Vineet Narayan s case and Gujarat Communal Riot s case, etc. This Court has taken the consistent view .....

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rence with the trial proceedings. 43. It is evident from the above order passed by the Honourable Supreme Court that an observation was made that the charge sheet was filed by the investigation agency in only one among the various 2G related cases. In such circumstances, the submissions of the learned Special Public Prosecutor that supplementary charge sheet will be filed based on the outcome of the investigation has to be accepted and consequently the submission of the leanred Senior counsel fo .....

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the Director by an authority authorised by the Central Government under this Act for the collection of evidence. It is therefore evident that the investigation carried on by the enforcement directorate is related to 2G Spectrum case and the original complaint has been filed by the investigation agency for a predicate offence. It is also seen from the charge sheet filed by the CBI in RC 22 (A)/2011-DLI (Aircel-Maxis Case) that the investigation is also being carried on relating to the manner in .....

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ses) New Delhi in C.C. No. 1 of 2012 wherein it was observed that all cases arising out of irregularities allegedly committed from2 001 to 2006-2007 are part of what is known as "2G Spectrum scam" and as such, all cases arising therefrom are to be dealt with accordingly. The Special Court further observed that the fact that some irregularities were committed during the tenure of different Ministers does not make any difference. It was further observed that the submission made on behalf .....

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ng arising from the "2G Specrtrum Case". In such view of the matter, this Court is not inclined to entertain the writ petitions as they are not maintainable before this Court. 46. As far as the affidavit filed by the then Finance Minister before this Court is concerned, even though such an affidavit is not necessary in a case relating to summons issued to his son, yet it has been filed stating that already CBI has recorded his statement as also others connected with the case on 06.12.2 .....

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nt of FIPB approval or not cannot be decided by this Court when such an issue is seized of by the Honourable Supreme Court. Therefore, at this stage, this Court cannot deal with the averments contained in the affidavit dated 29.11.2016 filed by the then Finance Minister. 47. In so far as the Petitioners in WP Nos. 35844 and 35845 of 2016 are concerned, it is their contention that the notices dated 16.05.2016 issued to them are unsigned notices and they were sent to various financial institutions .....

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, to which the notices dated 16.05.2016 has been issued are in any manner connected with Mr. Karti P. Chidambaram. The petitioners companies are carrying out their lawful business in accordance with law. 48. In the counter affidavit filed by the respondents, it is stated that the notices dated 16.05.2016 has been issued in exercise of the powers conferred on the first respondent under Section 12A of PMLA read with notification No.5 of 2005 dated 01.07.2005. According to the respondents, the noti .....

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essential for the functioning of FIU-India. It is further stated that the communication dated 16.05.2016 was never addressed to the petitioner companies by the first and second respondents and it was issued by the second respondent on the directions of first respondent to the financial institutions which are duly authorised to call for information from various reporting entities under PMLA. According to the respondents, the petitioners not being bona fide addresses or receipients of the communi .....

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or a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus to quash the communication dated 16.05.2016 of the third respondent and consequently direct the third respondent to recall the notice dated 16.05.2016 sent to all the financial institutions. WP No. 35845 of 2016 has been filed for a Mandamus to forbear the third respondent from carrying out any investigation against the petitioners company pursuant to the notice dated 16.05.2016 without following the procedure established by law. On perusal of the rival conte .....

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for. More so, such details are sought for during the course of investigation conducted by the respondents under the provisions of PMLA. While so, when the notices have been issued by the respondents as part of their on-going investigation in 2G Spectrum case, as per the order passed by the Honourable Supreme Court, this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain these writ petitions. 50. The investigation presently carried on by the respondents is seized of by the Honourable Supreme Court and the p .....

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ion relating to maintainability of these writ petitions have been raised by the respondents, the learned Special Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondents would submit that what is challenged in some of these writ petitions is a summon issued by the respondents. Normally, this Court cannot interfere with the summons issued to any Citizen seeking certain information. Further, the petitioners need not apprehend that any vindictive action will be taken against them by the respondents. The off .....

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