NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the trial of AMMK leader T T V Dhinakaran relating to the 1996 alleged Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violation case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi stayed the proceedings as it agreed to hear Directorate of Enforcement’s plea challenging the Madras High Court order permitting the AMMK leader to access copies of the documents being relied by the ED against him.
“How can you have cake and eat it too,” CJI Gogoi said as the ED lawyer requested the bench not to stay the trial. “If we allow the trial to proceed without the documents, we will be virtually deciding the course of the trial. If there is notice, there should be a stay of trial,” the CJI said, pointing out that if the trial was not put on hold, it would be over by the time they decided the ED’s plea against the high court order.
Dhinakaran is facing prosecution for getting US $1,04,93,313 without prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India. He had deposited this amount in a British Virgin Islands incorporated company Dipper Investments Ltd, which had an account with Barclays Bank in UK.
The high court had in 2018 asked the trial court to order ED to provide copies of the documents it was relying on against Dhinakaran to him as it heard his appeal challenging the order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Economic Offences-II), Chennai refusing to give copies of certain documents including the case diary.
Ex-minister exempted from surrendering
New Delhi: The SC on Monday exempted former Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister P Balakrishna Reddy from surrendering in a criminal case in which he has been convicted to undergo three-year imprisonment.
A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi though refused to stay conviction or suspend his jail term, but exempted Reddy from surrender to serve a jail term. The bench stayed the Madras HC order refusing to grant exemption from surrendering.
The case pertains to a case of protest near Hosur in 1998 when public agitated against spurious liquor. According to reports, 108 members were accused of throwing stones at vehicles including police vans. Over 20 years later, 16 protesters were convicted.
A special court in Chennai sentenced Reddy to three years with a fine of Rs 10,000, paving way for his disqualification as an MLA under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act.