Secondary education minister K Parthasarathy got some relief on Tuesday with the AP High Court staying operation of the order passed in 2008 by the Appellate Tribunal for Foreign Exchange, New Delhi.
The penalty of Rs 3 lakh imposed by the Enforcement Directorate authorities and upheld by the appellate authority was temporarily stayed by the court recently. Now, the court granted a stay pending disposal of the case pertaining to civil miscellaneous second appeal.
Justice KG Shankar, while disposing of the petition filed by Parthasarathy challenging the order of the appellate tribunal, said that substantial and important questions of law arise for adjudication in the present case. Thus, a prima facie case for grant of stay is made out. At any stage, non-granting of stay may not cause irreparable loss, where the appellants were penalized to the tune of Rs 3 lakhs which cannot be treated to be a considerable amount for an industry (KPR Plastic Limited belonging to Parthasarathy) capable of raising more than Rs 69 lakh (for payment in the shape of foreign exchange), the judge added.
However, the appellants have made out prima facie case and the balance of convenience is in their favour and it would be just and proper to stay operation of the further proceedings pursuant to the orders of the appellate tribunal, the judge said.
The appellants sought for condonation of delay of 1394 days in filing the second appeal (as against 60 days). The proviso empowers the High Court to condone the delay in filing the appeal.
Earlier, standing counsel for the Enforcement Directorate PSP Suresh Kumar said that the ED had imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakh about a decade ago and the appellate tribunal had confirmed the same in 2008. The petitioner-appellant was charged with violating provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).
Parthasarathy had filed another petition in the High Court in August this year against his conviction by the Special Court for Economic Offences, in a FERA violation case.
He was sentenced to two months simple imprisonment besides being imposed a fine of `5.15 lakh. The court granted stay of the lower court order till Nov 10.