10 Nov 2017
Supreme Court rejects bail application of accused on his failure to explain source of demonetized notes
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, Rohit Tandon v. Enforcement Directorate
PML Act : Where appellant accused failed to explain source from where he had acquired huge amount of demonetized currency recovered from him, his prayer for bail on being arrested for offence u/s 3&4 of PML Act was rightly rejected
• Facts : Bail application of appellant accused who was arrested for offence u/s 3&4 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 for depositing Rs. 38.53 Crore in cash of demonetized currency into bank accounts of companies and getting demand drafts issued in fictitious names with intention of getting them cancelled and thereby converting demonetized currency into monetized currency on commission basis was rejected
• Held that there was inexplicable silence or reluctance of appellant in disclosing source from where such huge value of demonetized currency and also new currency had been acquired by him. Fact that no limit for deposit was specified, in demonetisations in Notification dated 8-11-2016 would not extricate appellant from explaining source from where such huge amount had been acquired, possessed or used by him. Volume of demonetized currency recovered from office and residential premises of appellant, including bank drafts in favour of fictitious persons and also new currency notes for huge amount, leave no manner of doubt that it was outcome of some process or activity connected with proceeds of crime projecting property as untainted property. Possession of such huge quantum of demonetized currency and new currency in form of Rs.2000/ notes, without disclosing source from where it is received and purpose for which it was received, appellant had failed to dispel legal presumption that he was involved in moneylaundering and property was proceeds of crime. Thus, opinion of Sessions Court and High Court rejecting prayer for grant of regular bail to appellant was not to be interferred with.