Breaking News PMLA case: SC says Punjab & Haryana HC bail...

PMLA case: SC says Punjab & Haryana HC bail order not to be treated as precedent as they were senior citizens

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New Delhi, Oct 20 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today clarified, that the Order passed by the Punjab And Haryana High Court granting bail to Prakash Gurbaxani and Ashok Solomon would not be treated as a precedent for the provision of non-bailable offence, set out in Section 45 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), as the same was passed under extraneous circumstances as the respondents are Senior Citizens.

The Enforcement Directorate had approached the Supreme Court division bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice C.T. Ravikumar assailing the order of the bail granted to Prakash Gurbaxani and Ashok Solomon, who are accused under Section 3 & 4 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Section 10 of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975 and Section 420 IPC.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V Raju appearing for the Enforcement Directorate submitted that they did not oppose bail and requested the court that the impugned order, not be treated as a precedent against the provision of non-bailable offence, under Section 45 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Raju further argued that the impugned order was passed under extraneous circumstances as the respondents are Senior Citizens.

On March 31, 2007, Chintels India Limited (for short – Chintels), which owned 149.093 acres of land in Gurugram, applied to the Director, Town and Country Planning, Haryana for the grant of a licence under the Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975, for developing a residential colony.

Chintels and QVC Realty Company Limited entered into an agreement with Sobha Limited (for developing the aforesaid land on a salable area sharing basis and in support of the aforesaid application for the grant of a licence, filed such agreement before the Director, Town and Country Planning, Haryana.

As per the relevant term of the agreement, on which the licence was based, Chintels was required to reserve 25% of the developed residential plots on a ‘No Profit No Loss’ (for short – NPNL) basis. It was further agreed between the parties that 75% of the NPNL plots would be allotted to registered applicants through a draw of lots (if so required) and the remaining 25% would be allotted to Non-Resident Indians against Foreign Exchange.

On December 10, 2018, the Director, Town and Country Planning wrote to the Station House Officer, Police Station village Bajghera, District Gurugram informing the police, that as per the agreement/ terms of the licence Chintels was required to reserve and allot 249 NPNL plots. However, it had been found that only 84 NPNL plots had been allotted and out of these 84 plots, 55 had been allotted by Sobha to aLimited Liability Partnerships (created by Sobhaitself). It was alleged that Sobha, Chintels and QVC had conspired to commit fraud as also had violated the terms of the licence/ agreement by allotting the NPNL plots to virtually itself.

The respondents are Managing Directors of QVC and Chintels respectively and on June 2, 2021, were granted bail by Punjab And Haryana High Court./ILNS/KR/SNG/

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