HC empowered to prevent Abuse of process of Court: Telangana HC quashes proceedings under PMLA filed before CBI Cases-cum-Special Court

Telangana High Court - PMLA - CBI - Special Court - taxscan

The Telangana High Court while quashing the proceedings under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) filed before CBI Cases-cum-Special Court held that the High Court is empowered to prevent abuse of process of court.

The petitioner, Mr. Madhu Koneru who is Accused on the file of the Principal Special Judge for C.B.I. Cases-cum-Special Court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 at Nampally, Hyderabad, filed this Criminal Petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings against him.

After completion of investigation, the CBI, Hyderabad, filed a charge sheet for the aforesaid offences. On receipt of documents from CBI like F.I.R., charge sheet etc., the respondent authorities made enquiries and having found that there is a prima facie case under the PML Act and as Section 120-B read with Section 420 of IPC and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act are the scheduled offences under PMLA, the respondent authorities have registered Enforcement Case Information Report and took up the investigation.

During the course of investigation, summons were issued under Section 50 of the PMLA to several persons and recorded their depositions, obtained financial accounts and bank statements of persons, who were associated with the transactions and their voluntary statements. From the statements of the accused and the documents collected during the course of investigation under PMLA, according to the respondent authorities, it is well established that accused have committed the offences under PMLA.

Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, Senior Counsel for the Petitioner that according to the findings the scheduled offences are not made out and the Charge Sheet is quashed against the Petitioner and therefore, and in consequence thereof, there cannot exist any more scheduled offences for the purpose of prosecution under Sections 3 and 4 of PML Act, 2002.

The single bench of Justice G Sri Devi found that there is no material to proceed against the petitioner under Sections 3 and 4 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and that there are no ‘schedule offences’ committed by him to proceed under the provisions of PML Act.

The Court held that the High Court should quash the proceedings if it comes to the conclusion that allowing the proceedings to continue, would be an abuse of the process of the Court and that the ends of justice require that the proceedings be required to be quashed.

The Court opined that the proceedings against the petitioner on the file of the Principal Special Judge for C.B.I. Cases-cum-Special Court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 at Nampally, Hyderabad, are liable to be quashed.

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