Justice Raja Elango of the AP High Court on Wednesday reserved his orders till Friday on a petition filed by state excise and secondary education minister K Parthasarathy seeking ‘suspension’ of his conviction by the Economic Offences Court in a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violation case.
Though an appeal against the lower court order was admitted and execution of the sentence was stayed by the Metropolitan sessions judge, which allows him to continue in his post on technical grounds, the minister has been facing demands of resignation on moral grounds.
A stay on execution of sentence would not absolve him of the conviction and this is precisely the reason why the minister is seeking suspension of the conviction during pendency of his appeal.
Arguing for Parthasarathy, senior counsel C Padmanabha Reddy told the court that the minister was convicted for an offence made out by Enforcement Directorate under FERA in 1994 where in his company KPR Plastics Ltd (now known as KPR Tele Products Ltd) made a failed attempt to import certain foreign machinery.
The company had sent Rs 69 lakh as advance and could not remit the balance amount as the bank had backed out in the middle of the transaction.
The company could neither import the machinery nor get back the advance it sent.
The ED counsel said no lenient view can be taken because the ED had imposed a penalty of `3 lakh a decade ago and an appellate tribunal had confirmed the same in 2008.
Parthasarathy did not challenge this order in the high court and is now trying to mislead the court by feigning ignorance about the same.