PMLA | Objective of PMLA Act is discovery and freezing or confiscation of property in order to prevent it from being laundered further 

Appellate Tribunal for SAFEMA, FEMA, PMLA, NDPS & PBPT Act: Justice Manmohan Singh adjourned an appeal sine-dine, filed by a person found against whom notice was issued in a case pertaining to money laundering, and granted him liberty to move an application for securing the interest of Enforcement Directorate. 

There were two cases filed against the appellant herein by the Deputy Director, ED Ahmedabad. Both the cases were regarding the purchase of two different properties for which the appellant was accused of making payment through the proceeds of crime. The appellant was shown as an accused in the 1st case before the Special Court under PMLA Ahmedabad. However, he was not stated as an accused in either the FIR or the charge sheet presented by the investigating officer in the 2nd case respectively. Gujarat High Court discharged the appellant from the PMLA case. Thereafter, a Special Leave Petition was filed by the respondent wherein the Supreme Court did not stay the order passed by the High Court of Gujarat however it issued a notice against the appellant herein. Thus, the present appeal.

The Tribunal referred to the basic principle of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and opined that the said Act is aimed at discovering the property acquired by any person by means of criminal activity and confiscating the same so that the property cannot be laundered further. The appellant herein is willing to repay the interest of the respondent, however since the Special Leave Petition of the of the Enforcement Directorate is still pending before the Supreme Court, the said court considers it appropriate to wait for the order of the Supreme Court until then it adjourns the proceeding and allows the appellant to move the application after the same.

It was noted that the appellant was ready and willing to secure the interest of Enforcement Directorate by a Fixed Deposit Receipt of any nationalized bank equivalent to an amount with the respondent by way of a fixed deposit. Respondent also consented to the same. In view of the same, and noting the pendency of SLP, the Tribunal granted liberty to the appellant to move the application once the order was passed by the Supreme Court.[Ahmed Mohamed Hasanfatta v. Deputy Director, Directorate of Enforcement, Ahmedabad; 2019 SCC OnLine ATPMLA 37; decided on 28-08-2019]

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