Quashing of Prosecution Complaint in Money Laundering Case

Criminal Writ Petition

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No 757 of 2018 was filed by the petitioner – Anoop Bartaria, the Director, World Trade Park Ltd., and by M/s World Trade Park Ltd, a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956, seeking a prayer to quash and set aside the prosecution complaint in ECIR No.JPZO/01/2016. Bharat Bomb and his associates approached the petitioners for the purchase of commercial units in the said World Trade Park and booked certain units. Bomb and his associates, asked the petitioners to register the units in the name of new entities, and therefore the petitioners returned the amount back deposited by M/s. The possession of the said units was also handed over to the respective entities/persons as instructed by Mr.

An FIR being No RCBD1/2016/E/0002 came to be registered by CBI, BS&FC, New Delhi, on 07.03.2016 against the said Bharat Bomb, his associates and the officials of three branches of the Syndicate Bank namely:- (1) Bapu Bazar, Udaipur (2) Malviya Nagar, Jaipur and (3) MI Road, Jaipur and certain other persons for the offences under the 120B, 420, 467, 468, 471, 472 and 474 of IPC and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Since some of the offences registered by the CBI in the said FIR were scheduled offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) Jaipur, initiated investigation for the offence of money laundering by registering an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) on 11.07.2016. Criminal Writ Petition No 757 of 2018 seeking prayer to quash the said Prosecution complaint. Swadeep Hora for the petitioners is that the petitioners were neither named in the FIR registered by the CBI against the officers of the Syndicate Bank and Mr. Bharat Bomb had requested the petitioners to book certain units in the name of M/s Raj Darbar Material Trading Pvt. Raj Darbar Material Trading Pvt.

In the said transactions, the petitioners had received the sale consideration of INR 76.72 crores and not INR 150 crores as alleged. Bharat Bomb for his Royal Raj Villas project at Udaipur and the amount of fees received from Mr. Lastly, he submitted that the petitioners who are absolutely unconnected to Mr. vs Bhajan Lal and Others he submitted that the power of quashing a complaint can only be exercised in rarest of rare case where allegations taken on face value do not prima facie constitute any offence. He also pointed out that 10 the said current bank account opened by the petitioner- Anoop Bartaria with Syndicate bank on 30.09.2014 was exclusively operated for receiving tainted money from Mr. Learned ASG has also placed reliance on the counter affidavit to buttress his submissions that the petitioner- Anoop Bartaria, this company M/s. 10.5 and 10.8 to show as to how the petitioner-Anoop Bartaria was complicit in the crime and sharing the fruit of the crime with Bharat Bomb; and as to how he was directly involved in the activity connected with proceeds of crime including generation, acquisition and use of proceeds of crime by commission of scheduled offence.

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Sub- section 1 of Section 45 prior to amendment read as under: “Section 45- Offences to be cognizable and non- bailable- (1)

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), (a) Every offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable; (b) No person accused of an offence punishable for a term of imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless.” Subsequently, sub-section (1) was substituted by the Act 20 of 2005 w.e.f.

The Prosecution complaint no.12/2018 in ECIR No.JPZO/01/2016 having been lodged by the authorized officer competent to file the complaint under Section 45 of the Act read with order dated 11.11.2014 issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, New Delhi, as stated in the complaint itself, the Court does not find any substance in the submissions made by Mr.

Hora, learned counsel for the petitioners that the knowledge of the petitioners that they were dealing with the proceeds of crime was sine qua non and essential ingredient for the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 of the PMLA, and that in the instant case, in absence of any material to show that the petitioners had the knowledge that they were dealing with the proceeds of crime committed by Bharat Bomb and his associates, continuation of the proceedings under the PMLA against the petitioners would be an abuse of process of law, have also no legs to stand. Section 2(u) defines what is “proceeds of crime” and Section 2(y) defines what is “Scheduled offence”.

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All the said offences are scheduled offences within the meaning of Section 2(y) of the said Act. and the petitioner 16 no.2- World Trade Park Ltd.

Having regard to the definition contained in Section 3, it would be a folly to hold that the knowledge of the accused that he was dealing with the proceeds of crime, would be a condition precedent or sine qua non required to be shown by the prosecution for lodging the complaint under the said Act. In State of Haryana and Others vs Bhajan Lal and Others (supra), this Court has laid down certain guidelines as to when the powers under Section 482 could be exercised either to prevent abuse the process of any court or otherwise to secure ends of justice. 18 (1) Where the allegations made in the first information report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused. (4) Where, the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a police officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code.

(7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.” 29.


Case Number: SLP(Crl) No.-002397-002398 / 2019

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