HYDERABAD: In a relief to Tech Mahindra Limited (formerly Satyam Computer Services Limited), the High Court on Monday declared that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) cannot pursue criminal cases against Tech Mahindra company in the Satyam Computer scam case.
Justice P Naveen Rao allowed the petition filed by Tech Mahindra seeking to quash the criminal proceedings pending against it in a lower court of the Hyderabad with regard to Satyam Computers scam.
The ED has showed Tech Mahindra along with Satyam Ramalinga Raju and others as accused to prosecute for the offences committed by it under Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. Tech Mahindra Ltd has argued that the present company cannot be prosecuted for offences committed by the erstwhile management of Satyam Computers and Tech Mahindra came into existence after the the group acquired Satyam Computers following the money laundering case.
The ED contended that the company must be shown as accused otherwise the case may not reach the logical end wherein the offence committed included those under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act etc.
The company told the court that the CBI booked cases under Sections 420, 467 and 471 of the IPC and it has in no way connected with the offences and based on the IPC offences, the ED cannot book the new management under the PMLA Act.
While allowing the plea, Justice P Naveen Rao held that Tech Mahindra cannot be liable for the offences committed by the old management of the company under Section 467 of IPC, which deals forgery of valuable security, will and other documents.
Holding that the writ of Tech Mahindra maintainable, the judge said the pleadings of the petitioner covered under the findings of the Supreme Court in Bhajanlal’s case and this court has power to quash the criminal proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution. The judge made it clear that the case can proceed against the other accused.