The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea moved by Supertech’s Chairman and promoter RK Arora seeking direction declaring his arrest illegal, in relation to a money laundering case.
The bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said on Friday that RK Arora here failed to show that his arrest is in violation of Section 19 of the PMLA, and there is nothing on the record to suggest he has been denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner.
In the present case, the grounds of arrest were duly given and notified to the petitioner and he endorsed the same in writing under his signature. The core issue is of being “informed” and “as soon as”.
It if has been duly notified and brought to the notice at the time of arrest and further disclosed in detail in the remand application, it amounts be duly informed and served, said the Court.
The court further said that the senior counsel appeared for Arora sought direction to release the petitioner on interim bail or to release him or to pass an order enabling him to attend the meetings in custody, I consider that such order cannot be passed in the present proceedings, particularly, in view of the fact that the bail application has already been rejected by the Special Judge vide a detailed order.
It is pertinent to mention here that the petitioner is required to visit Bombay to attend the meetings. I consider that it would be impractical to send the petitioner to Bombay in custody for attending the meetings with the financial creditors. It is pertinent to mention here that even for releasing the petitioner on interim bail the rigours of Section 45 have to be satisfied, said the Court.
However, in the peculiar facts and circumstances, if the petitioner so desires the Superintendent Jail may arrange a meeting to be held through VC from the jail itself in accordance with the law, stated the Court.
Recently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on has filed a prosecution complaint (chargesheet) against Supertech’s Chairman R K Arora in relation to money laundering case in Delhi’s Patiala House Court.
Arora was arrested on June 27 under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Earlier, while sending Arora to ED remand, the trial court said that the power to seek remand is essentially a part of the power of arrest and to conduct investigation in respect to commission of the alleged offence of money laundering and this power has necessarily to be inferred with the help of above Section as Section 65 of the PMLA, 2002 does not prohibit remand of an accused under the said act to ED custody.
The court also said that when it comes to power of the ED officers to seek ED custody of the accused, it had observed that though Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) do not confer any specific power in this regard, but this power has to be inferred with the help of provisions contained in Section 65 of the PMLA, 2002 and Section 167 of CrPC as Section 65 of the PMLA provides that the provisions of CrPC shall apply, in so far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, to arrest, search and seizure, attachment, confiscation, investigation, prosecution and all other proceedings.
“It is contended on behalf of the accused that the present ECIR was registered in the year 2021 and the applicant has been repeatedly examined by the investigating agency and after completion of the investigation provisional attachment order dated 11.04.2023 has been issued and hence there was no requirement of arrest. The issuance of provisional attachment order by the competent authority does not mean that the investigation qua the offenses defined under Section 3 punishable under Section 4 of PMLA has been completed,” the court noted.
It has been specifically stated by the ED that the investigation for the commission of offence punishable under Section 3/4 of PMLA is not yet complete, therefore the Enforcement Directorate is justified to seek custody of the accused, the court said.
However, the court had earlier directed that his interrogation shall be conducted at some place having CCTV coverage in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and also in accordance with all the other applicable rules, directions and guidelines on the subject and the said CCTV footage shall be preserved.
Earlier, ED has apprised the court that 26 FIRS were registered by EOW, Delhi Police; Haryana Police and UP Police against Supertech Limited and its group companies under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 406(criminal breach of trust)/420 (cheating)/467/471 IPC having allegations of cheating at least 670 home buyers for an amount of Rs 164 Crores.
ED also alleged that the amount collected by Supertech Ltd. was diverted to their group companies for the purchase of properties and the company with land having much lesser value.
ED alleged that the accused persons have acquired properties, made illegal and wrongful gain arising out the said proceeds of crime by involving, indulging and commissioning of criminal activities related to scheduled offences. It is stated that the prima facie case for the commission of offence punishable under Section 3 punishable under Section 4 of the PML Act has been made out.