Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Prevention Of Money Laundering Act | "For Money-Launderers Jail Is The Rule And Bail Is An Exception": Allahabad High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
25 March 2022 12:29 PM GMT
Prevention Of Money Laundering Act | For Money-Launderers Jail Is The Rule And Bail Is An Exception: Allahabad High Court
x

While rejecting the anticipatory bail application of a person booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the Allahabad High Court observed that for money-launderers Jail is the rule and bail is an exception. The bench of Justice Krishan Pahal observes thus as it stressed that money Laundering as an offence is an economic threat to national interest and is committed by...

While rejecting the anticipatory bail application of a person booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the Allahabad High Court observed that for money-launderers Jail is the rule and bail is an exception. 

The bench of Justice Krishan Pahal observes thus as it stressed that money Laundering as an offence is an economic threat to national interest and is committed by the white-collar offenders who are deeply rooted in society and cannot be traced out easily.

The case in brief

The bench was dealing with an anticipatory bail moved by one Anirudh Kamal Shukla who has been booked under Section 3/4 of PMLA, 2002.

As per the allegations against him, the applicant along with his brother entered into a criminal conspiracy with one R.K. Mishra, Senior Branch Manager Credit and Vinny Sodhi @ Vikram Dixit, for sanction of an overdraft limit of Rs.2.50 lakhs for business purposes against the mortgaged of property of one Ram Nath Sharma by submitted fake documents

The investigation revealed that Rs.25,000/- was transferred to the current account of the applicant on 06.11.2006, which was utilized in business and the same is stated to have been admitted by the applicant.

Arguments put forth

It was argued before the Court by the applicant that the only allegation against him was that a sum of Rs.25,000/- was transferred from OD mortgaged loan account to the current account of co-borrower Ashwani Kumar Shukla which was utilized in the business.

It was further argued that the applicant had not been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate since the filing of the complaint during the last eight years and that he was cooperating with the department since then. There is no likelihood of the offence being repeated by the applicant.

On the other hand, the Counsel for the Enforcement Directorate opposed the anticipatory bail application stating that the OD mortgaged loan account was opened in the name of Ashwani Kumar Shukla along with the applicant with Bank of India on the basis of forged property documents made available by co-accused person Vikram Dixit through Ram Nath Sharma (Guarantor).

It was further argued that the brother of the applicant had admitted that Rs.25,000/- was tainted money and the Enforcement Directorate had examined and recorded the statement of the applicant and all co-accused persons wherein the applicant had confessed his crime.

Court's observations

At the outset, the Court noted that Section 45 of the PMLA, 2002 specially provides two conditions that are mandatory in nature and must be complied with before granting bail to the accused of an offence.

Here it may be noted that the Supreme Court has held that once the prayer for anticipatory bail is made in connection with offence under the PMLA, the underlying principles and rigors of Section 45 of the PMLA Act must get triggered even though the application is under Section 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure.

Also, Section 45 of PML Act imposes the following two conditions for grant of bail to any person accused of an offence punishable for a term of imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule of PML Act:

  • That the prosecutor must be given an opportunity to oppose the application for bail; and
  • That the court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused person is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

In view of this, analysing the facts of the instant case and taking into account the material put before the Court, the Court was of the prima facie view that it cannot be held that the applicant was not guilty of the alleged offences or that he was not likely to commit any such offence while on bail.

Accordingly, the anticipatory bail application is dismissed.

Case title - Anirudh Kamal Shukla v. Union Of India Thru. Assistant Dir. Directorate Of Enforcement Lko
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 136

Click Here To Read/Download order

Next Story