Karnataka man gets five years jail term; purchase from crime proceeds to be seized

On March 14, the special court had sentenced Michael to five years RI and a fine of Rs 44.10 lakh for the offences under the IPC.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.

BENGALURU: A special court sentenced John Michael to five years rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the accused for offences punishable under Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and also passed an order to confiscate the two sites and a car purchased in his wife’s name, from the proceeds of the crime, to the Union Government.

Impersonating as the personal secretary of then chief minister Dharam Singh, Michael had induced innocent public into parting with a huge amount of money under the pretext of providing them with BDA sites under the CM’s discretionary quota.

On March 14, the special court had sentenced Michael to five years RI and a fine of Rs 44.10 lakh for the offences under the IPC. Now, in a money laundering case registered by the ED in 2010, the special court judge Santhosh Gajanan Bhat, on April 6, passed another order to confiscate immovable property - a residential site and building thereon bearing No 3, measuring 1,400 sqft in Jinkethimmanahalli of Bidarahalli Hobli, Bengaluru North taluk, and another site bearing No 4 measuring 620 sqft in the same area, in Manjula Michael’s name, and car to the Centre.

“By looking into the facts and circumstances of the case, the materials produced would clearly indicate that the properties were purchased out of the proceeds of the crime. I have also bestowed my anxious reading to the fact that accused No 2 - Manjula is declared to be absconding accused and a split up case has been registered against her,” the judge noted.

Michael (46), a resident of TC Palya, Bengaluru, does not show scant respect for the law by once again forging and fabricating an order indicating lifting the order of attachment of the house property in site No 3 to sell the same. For which, a separate crime was registered against him in 2022, which is pending adjudication.

Referring to this, the ED contended that since Michael is a habitual offender, no leniency can be shown to him and accordingly, maximum punishment be imposed, besides confiscating the properties purchased by him in his wife’s name from the proceeds of predicate offences.

Terming the offence as a white-collared offence, which bleeds the economy of the nation, the court noted that it required to impose maximum punishment.

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The New Indian Express