Writ Petition Nos. 5962, 11442 and 11440-11441 of 2016 (GM-MM-C). Case: Obulapuram Mining Company Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. Vs Joint Director Directorate of Enforcement Government of India and Ors.. High Court of Karnataka (India)

Case NumberWrit Petition Nos. 5962, 11442 and 11440-11441 of 2016 (GM-MM-C)
CounselFor Appellant: Sudhir Nandrajog, Senior Advocate and Mayank Jain, Advocate
JudgesSubhro Kamal Mukherjee, C.J. and Budihal R.B., J.
IssueConstitution of India - Articles 20, 20(1); Indian Penal Code 1860, (IPC) - Sections 120B, 411, 420, 471; Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Sections 13(1)(d), 13(1)(e), 13(2); Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 - Sections 2(p), 2(u), 2(y), 3, 5
Judgement DateMarch 13, 2017
CourtHigh Court of Karnataka (India)

Order:

Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, C.J.

  1. By consent of the learned advocates appearing for the parties, all these writ petitions are taken up for hearing together, as similar questions of law are involved in these writ petitions, in order to avoid a conflicting judicial opinion. We are also informed that facts are, almost, identical.

    However, for the sake of convenience, we are dealing with the facts in relation to Writ Petition No. 5962 of 2016.

  2. Writ Petition No. 5962 of 2016 is filed challenging the action of the authorities in lodging and enforcing of an Enforcement Case Information Report, being No ECIR/83/BZ/2010, dated September 22, 2010, and an order of attachment, both provisional and final, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 [for short, the PML Act].

  3. Mr. Sudhir Nandrajog, learned senior advocate, appearing in support of the writ petitioner, raised a short, but interesting point. He submits that the offences alleged against the writ petitioner are not scheduled offences under the PML Act, and, therefore, the writ petitioner could not be prosecuted under the provisions of the PML Act.

  4. Mr. Sudhir Nandrajog draws our attention to the ECIR at Annexure-B to the writ petition. Our reading of the allegations is that this writ petitioner acquired 17.59 lakh MT of iron ore by extracting the same from outside the leased area and, thus, committed the offences under Sections 120B, 420 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 13(2) read with Sections 13(1)(d) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 [for short, the PC Act]. However, in the final order of attachment, it is alleged that 29.32 MT iron ore were extracted from outside the leased area.

  5. Mr. Nandrajog, submits that those offences were included as scheduled offences only on June 1, 2009. He draws our attention to page 225 of the paperbook to show that the alleged offences were allegedly committed between June 21, 2007 and May 15, 2009. Therefore, he submits that all the offences were allegedly committed prior to the coming into operation of the amendment to the PML Act.

  6. Section 2(p) of the PML Act defines that 'money laundering' has the meaning assigned to it in Section 3. Section 2(u) provides that the 'proceeds of crime' means any property derived or obtained directly or indirectly, by any person as a result of criminal activity relating to a scheduled offence or the value of any such property. Section 2(y) defines the...

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