Chennai: J. Sekhar Reddy, a mining baron, from whom Rs 34 crore in new denomination notes of Rs 2,000 and gold worth several crores had been seized in December, 2016, has approached the Madras high court to quash the criminal proceedings pending against him before the principal sessions judge in Chennai. The case had been registered by the Enforcement Directorate for offences under various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in March, 2017.
Justice M.S.Ramesh before whom the petition filed by Sekhar Reddy came up for hearing, ordered notice, returnable by two weeks, to the Enforcement Directorate. According to Sekhar Reddy, the ED without following any due procedure of law and relying on the investigations conducted by other agencies had filed the case on the file of PSJ under the PML Act.
The case was vitiated, illegal and void. The entire basis of the complaint filed by the ED was the FIR registered by the CBI based on the information by the Income Tax department. The CBI was yet to either identify the involvement of the alleged bank officials or prima facie make out an offence or file a charge sheet for the allegations of conversion of the old currency notes into the new denomination notes. The ED has reproduced almost verbatim the contents of the FIR registered by the CBI in the complaint without any independent confirmation or disclosing reasons to believe based on materials on record that he has committed an offence under the PML Act. He had not indulged in conversion of old currency notes into new currency notes, even otherwise, it was not an offence declared under any law, he added.