The Bombay High Court ruled on Wednesday that one court designated under both the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC) will hear all cases related to the Rs.11,400-crore PNB scam led by absconding diamond merchant Nirav Modi.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar directed Principal Judge of the City Civil & Sessions Court, Greater Mumbai, to assign these cases to a Judge who is having the powers as the designated judge under both Acts.
The court was hearing criminal applications filed by accused Vipul Chitralia, Hemant Bhatt and Enforcement Directorate Court seeking directions to the City Civil and Sessions Court to try all cases related to the PNB scam before one court, as each court is notified under respective Acts.
While courtroom number 51 at the sessions court is notified court under Section 3 of the PC Act, known as CBI Court, courtroom number 16 is assigned all matters under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Advocate Hiten Venegaonkar argued on behalf of ED and submitted that Principal Judge had issued an administrative order recently whereby court room number 48 was designated as the PMLA and PC court.
Thus, the court said-
"Accordingly, the Principal Judge of the City Civil & Sessions Court, Greater Mumbai is directed to assign these cases to a Judge who is having the powers as the Designated Judge under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and also under the Prevention of Corruption Act, as per the convenience."
From now on, all PNB scam related cases will only be heard by Special Judge PK Sharma, who presides over the said court designated under both Acts.
Read the Order Here