The High Court on Wednesday upheld an order passed by the Appellate Tribunal for Foreign Exchange confirming a penalty of Rs 3 lakh on KPR Teleproducts Limited belonging to Minister for Secondary Education and Excise K Parthasarathy for violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).
The Minister was found guilty in a case relating to FERA violation when he was MD of the Hyderabad-based company. Justice N Ravi Shankar delivered the verdict while dismissing an appeal filed by him against the tribunal’s order.
The Enforcement Directorate had imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakh on KPR Plastic Limited, now known as KPR Teleproducts Limited, and its managing director Parthasarathy in 2002 and it was challenged in the tribunal. The tribunal confirmed the ED order in 2008.
The judge, in his order, ruled that the contravention under Section 8(3) and 8(4) of FERA, 1973 by the company was proved and hence, the appeal against the tribunal order was liable to be dismissed.
The judge, however, reduced the penalty from `3 lakh to `1.5 lakh and accepted the petitioner’s request to keep the order under suspension for a period of four weeks to enable him to move the Supreme Court. It may be recalled that the Special Court for Economic Offences of the city had convicted Parthasarathy in a FERA violation case in 2012 by sentencing him to two months simple imprisonment and slapping a fine of `5.15 lakh.
Parthasarathy then filed a petition in the High Court against the lower court order and the high court granted an interim stay. The ED had moved the Economic Offences Court after the minister failed to pay the penalty.
PSP Suresh Kumar, standing counsel for the ED, said that the minister has to face the criminal case independently as it was initiated under Section 56 of the FERA Act and the dismissal of the appeal by the minister was in no way connected with the conviction awarded by the Special Court.