Chennai: The Madras High Court dismissed petitions filed by Dr Manickam Dorai, who held the post of Bishop of CSI Diocese, Coimbatore, from 2000 till January 8, 2012, and his wife, challenging the proceedings initiated by the Directorate of Enforcement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Justice S.M. Subramaniam dismissed the petitions filed by Dr Dorai and his wife Soodamani Dorai, which challenged the provisional attachment of her properties and the show cause notice issued to them by the Directorate of Enforcement under PMLA.
Originally, while Manickam Dorai was officiating as Bishop of CSI Diocese, Coimbatore, one E.Premkumar lodged a criminal complaint before CBCID against him for the alleged misuse of Bishopship of CSI Diocese, Coimbatore, by helping his relatives etc., during the period 2005 to 2008. Based on the complaint, an FIR was registered against the Bishop and 30 others for offences under various provisions of IPC and charge sheet was filed. During the pendency of the criminal proceedings, the Directorate of Enforcement registered an Enforcement case Information Report. Consequent upon the same, the ED provisionally attached the properties of Soodamani Dorai and thereafter show cause notices were issued to the Bishop and his wife. Challenging the same, they filed the present petitions.
Dismissing the petitions, the judge said the court has no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the present petitions were not only premature and the facts and circumstances now raised by the petitioners cannot be adjudicated in view of the fact that the petitioners have not exhausted the appeal remedies provided under the statutes and not participated in the administrative procedures contemplated under PMLA, establishing their innocence or otherwise before the competent authorities. Such administrative procedures contemplated cannot be construed as akin to that of the criminal proceedings initiated under the IPC, the judge added.
The judge said the petitioners failed to establish any legally acceptable ground, so as to interfere with the impugned orders passed by the authorities under the provisions of the PMLA. Thus, both the petitions stand dismissed. The authorities shall proceed against the petitioners under the provisions of the PMLA, without causing any undue delay, the judge added....