CHENNAI : The Madras High Court allowed the criminal revision case filed by Canara Bank against the order, passed by the principal sessions judge who refused to de-freeze the fixed deposits held by various companies and to direct the Enforcement Directorate to pay Rs 13.22 crore lying in the credit of fixed deposits along with interest accrued thereon to the bank.
Justice RMT Teekaa Raman set aside the order passed by the principal sessions judge in Chennai while remitting the case back and directing principal sessions judge to take into consideration the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, as extracted and whereby during the course of the trial, the claim of parties can be considered for restoration of the property and deal with the same in accordance with law.
The learned principal sessions judge, Chennai, has held that as all accused are appearing before the court and the matter is ready for presentation of the prosecution, the conditions stated under Section 8(7) of the Act have not been arrived at and accordingly, dismissed the petition, observing that the trial of the case has not been concluded.
The counsel for Canara Bank argued that if the ownership of the property was certain, then the property was to go back to the owner of the property. “Only if the ownership of the property was doubtful, the property has to be a part of the trial proceedings and one has to wait for the conclusion of the trial,’ the counsel stated.“Even though trial had not commenced, as the money belonged to the petitioner bank, there was no bar for them to claim the money nor any bar on the first respondent herein from handing the money,” the bank stated.
Changes in PMLA
Principal sessions judge directed to take into consideration the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, as extracted and whereby during the course of the trial, the claim of parties can be considered for restoration of the property and deal with the same in accordance with law