High Court Dismisses Subhiksha Promoter’s Plea Against Probe Agency Case


The Madras High Court Thursday dismissed a revision petition filed by the promoter of retail store chain Subhiksha group against a lower court order taking cognisance of a money laundering complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a Rs 77 crore bank fraud case against him.

Justice R M T Teekaa Raman held supplementary complaint can be filed based on further investigation and leave and liberty sought for in the present complaint by the Enforcement Directorate cannot be termed as illegal and incomplete as claimed by petitioner R Subramanian.

Mr Subramanian, promoter and managing director of Ms Subhiksha Trading Services Limited, had sought to set aside the April 20 last order of Principal Sessions Judge here taking cognisance on the complaint under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) filed by the ED.

The directorate had arrested Mr Subramanian on February 27 on charges of fraudulently diverting term loan and cash credit funds amounting to Rs 77 crore he had obtained from the Bank of Baroda for establishing the chain of stores.

The entire loan amount was at default and during the probe it was noticed that in the name of ‘Subhiksha’ chain of stores, Mr Subramanian had also availed about Rs 790 crore from a consortium of bankers and had not repaid it, the ED had said.

The agency had taken over the probe in the case based on a CBI FIR and charge sheet.

It had attached the proceeds of crime for the value of only Rs 9.47 crores so far.

The investigation under PMLA revealed the petitioner had committed offences of money laundering under Section 3 punishable under Section 4 of the PML Act.

Justice Raman observed Section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code provided for further investigation and there were no contrary provisions in the PMLA and hence, further investigation can be carried out by the ED even under the act.

“I do not find any illegality or irregularity in the cognisance taken by the learned Principal Sessions Judge, City Civil Court, designated Court under PML Act, Chennai,” he said in his order dismissing the petition.

The judge also rejected the petitioner’s contentions against the attachment of property of his wife and others, saying its probate value can be gone into only at the time of trial.


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