w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



C.M. Raveendran v/s Union of India, Represented by the Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, New Delhi & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- L & T FINANCE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U65990MH1994PLC083147

Company & Directors' Information:- S P FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65990MH1979PTC021790

Company & Directors' Information:- V L S FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = L65910DL1986PLC023129

Company & Directors' Information:- TO THE NEW PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900DL2006PTC235208

Company & Directors' Information:- L R N FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65921TN1992PLC089288

Company & Directors' Information:- S M FINANCE LTD [Active] CIN = L65999TG1984PLC004526

Company & Directors' Information:- J R D FINANCE LTD [Active] CIN = L65999WB1993PLC058107

Company & Directors' Information:- B R D FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65910KL1995PLC009430

Company & Directors' Information:- T C I FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65920MH1973PLC017042

Company & Directors' Information:- A. V. B. FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED. [Active] CIN = U65993DL1992PTC049818

Company & Directors' Information:- S M L FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65910KL1996PLC010648

Company & Directors' Information:- S B FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65921TG1988PTC008268

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA FINANCE LTD. [Active] CIN = L65110WB1984PLC050214

Company & Directors' Information:- J J FINANCE CORPORATION LTD [Active] CIN = L65921WB1982PLC035092

Company & Directors' Information:- G V S FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65921TG1988PTC008269

Company & Directors' Information:- G T P FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65921TZ1991PLC003149

Company & Directors' Information:- S R K FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65910UP1994PTC016038

Company & Directors' Information:- R N FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PLC034289

Company & Directors' Information:- J R D FINANCE LTD [Active] CIN = U65999WB1993PLC058107

Company & Directors' Information:- C K G FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65910KL1996PTC010147

Company & Directors' Information:- L N FINANCE LTD [Active] CIN = U65923WB1991PLC052876

Company & Directors' Information:- R K FINANCE LTD [Active] CIN = L65921WB1983PLC035896

Company & Directors' Information:- V P C L FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65920TG1996PLC023172

Company & Directors' Information:- J S M FINANCE PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74140MP1995PTC009542

Company & Directors' Information:- I & D FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1991PTC021369

Company & Directors' Information:- UNION FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910GJ1994PLC023717

Company & Directors' Information:- L N FINANCE PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U65929AS1992PTC003766

Company & Directors' Information:- N B A FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1993PLC052393

Company & Directors' Information:- T P D FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U67120RJ1994PLC008051

Company & Directors' Information:- R G L FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1983PTC015809

Company & Directors' Information:- S K B FINANCE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U65999WB1996PLC082317

Company & Directors' Information:- J V FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1985PTC067873

Company & Directors' Information:- L C J FINANCE PVT. LTD. [Active] CIN = U65921WB1995PTC068809

Company & Directors' Information:- H L T FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921DL1996PTC078128

Company & Directors' Information:- R N C P FINANCE LTD. [Dissolved] CIN = U67120WB1995PLC072339

Company & Directors' Information:- T T FINANCE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U67120DL1986PLC023168

Company & Directors' Information:- M M V R FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65921TZ1997PLC007705

Company & Directors' Information:- D B FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65191TN1989PTC016705

Company & Directors' Information:- C H P FINANCE PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U65921PB1992PTC012788

Company & Directors' Information:- S L B P FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1990PTC041694

Company & Directors' Information:- R S FINANCE PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U65191WB1988PTC044144

Company & Directors' Information:- I C FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65921UP1989PTC011236

Company & Directors' Information:- V K FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U67120WB1991PTC052140

Company & Directors' Information:- C AND N FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921DL1998PTC094290

Company & Directors' Information:- C D R FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910TG1995PLC022237

Company & Directors' Information:- J R FINANCE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65921PB1996PLC017699

Company & Directors' Information:- I C S FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921TZ1987PLC001991

Company & Directors' Information:- D D S FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910DL1996PTC076165

Company & Directors' Information:- K V L FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1989PLC016715

Company & Directors' Information:- D A S FINANCE PVT LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921PB1993PTC012888

Company & Directors' Information:- U B FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1992PTC051300

Company & Directors' Information:- V L G FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910AP1997PTC027952

Company & Directors' Information:- E M S FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921TZ1986PTC001789

Company & Directors' Information:- T D M FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65923KL1997PTC011601

Company & Directors' Information:- S. F. FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921PB1996PTC018702

Company & Directors' Information:- D S L FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65921TG1996PTC023898

Company & Directors' Information:- R D P FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65929DL1997PTC089092

Company & Directors' Information:- S R K C FINANCE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U65999TZ1989PLC002445

Company & Directors' Information:- R K N FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1997PTC038377

Company & Directors' Information:- H A FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65993DL1987PTC027064

Company & Directors' Information:- V V A FINANCE LTD [Active] CIN = U65993WB1984PLC037171

Company & Directors' Information:- Y B FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921CH1996PTC017745

Company & Directors' Information:- D G L FINANCE LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U67120TG1993PLC015604

Company & Directors' Information:- UNION COMPANY LTD. [Active] CIN = U36900WB1927PLC005621

Company & Directors' Information:- M S R FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1989PTC016789

Company & Directors' Information:- S S P FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1987PTC014526

Company & Directors' Information:- C R N FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1994PTC062802

Company & Directors' Information:- I FINANCE COMPANY LIMITED [Active] CIN = U67110DL2011PLC212268

Company & Directors' Information:- H AND Z FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U67190MH1995PTC093153

Company & Directors' Information:- Y AND K FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1985PTC019837

Company & Directors' Information:- S L P FINANCE PRIVATE LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U65923DL1985PTC021970

Company & Directors' Information:- V M FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910PB1996PLC018339

Company & Directors' Information:- D S K FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910UP1988PLC010317

Company & Directors' Information:- G B V FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65110UP1988PTC010219

Company & Directors' Information:- B H FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65922KA1995PTC018390

Company & Directors' Information:- M .R .S . FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65929DL1995PLC067184

Company & Directors' Information:- H D FINANCE LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U67120DL1986PLC023675

Company & Directors' Information:- P R K FINANCE P LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1995PTC033478

Company & Directors' Information:- T AND C FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U67120RJ1996PLC012576

Company & Directors' Information:- W S FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65192UP1996PTC020243

Company & Directors' Information:- S A C FINANCE COMPANY PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U65999WB1985PTC039002

Company & Directors' Information:- C C FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1997PTC037805

Company & Directors' Information:- S R B FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910UP1988PLC010045

Company & Directors' Information:- P V FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65993DL1987PTC027270

Company & Directors' Information:- R V S FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65990KA1995PTC018436

Company & Directors' Information:- P AND B FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999MH1986PTC038841

Company & Directors' Information:- B B P FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921PB1996PTC018183

Company & Directors' Information:- NEW INDIA FINANCE LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U65999WB1991PLC051652

Company & Directors' Information:- A E FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65999TZ1990PTC002905

Company & Directors' Information:- L R FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910UP1988PTC009758

Company & Directors' Information:- S B M FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921PB1994PLC014374

Company & Directors' Information:- T A S FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1990PTC018654

Company & Directors' Information:- B L AND CO NEW DELHI PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1968PTC004910

Company & Directors' Information:- D AND O FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1993PTC054788

Company & Directors' Information:- H R P FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921PB1995PTC015715

Company & Directors' Information:- P T R FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1989PTC016795

Company & Directors' Information:- B & S FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65191TN1988PTC015491

Company & Directors' Information:- H S B FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U67120RJ1996PTC012119

Company & Directors' Information:- NEW INDIA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U36999TN1940PTC001776

Company & Directors' Information:- NEW K K FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921UP1974PTC003887

Company & Directors' Information:- M. J. S. FINANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921PB1971PTC003049

Company & Directors' Information:- A R FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65921PB1989PTC009778

Company & Directors' Information:- K G FINANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910TZ1982PLC001219

Company & Directors' Information:- S AND Z FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65923PN1997PTC106520

Company & Directors' Information:- H S N FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U67120PB1993PTC013900

Company & Directors' Information:- G N FINANCE PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65990MH1981PTC024294

Company & Directors' Information:- UNION COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999KA1942PTC000292

Company & Directors' Information:- C S FINANCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910GJ1987PTC009799

    WP(C). No. 28049 of 2020(E)

    Decided On, 17 December 2020

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V.G. ARUN

    For the Petitioner: B. Raman Pillai, Sr.Advocate, M. Sunilkumar, V.B. Sujesh Menon, T. Anil Kumar, Thomas Abraham (Nilackappillil), S. Mahesh Bhanu, S. Lakshmi Sankar, Ressil Lonan, R. Anil, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1, Surya Prakash V Raju, Additional Solicitor General of India, R1-R2, T.A. Unnikrishnan, CGC & Special Counsel for Enforcement Directorate, Zoheb Hossain, Advocate, P. Vijayakumar, ASG.



Judgment Text

1. The petitioner is working as the Additional Private Secretary to the Chief Minister of Kerala. The Enforcement Directorate has issued summons to the petitioner under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 ('the Act', for short). Petitioner apprehends that on his appearance in response to the summons, he will be restrained for long hours and coerced into giving statements against his will. The petitioner therefore prays for a direction to the 2 nd respondent to refrain from detaining the petitioner beyond reasonable time and to permit the presence of a legal practitioner during questioning.2. The dates and events, as narrated in the writ petition, are as follows;Exhibit P1 summons was issued by the 2 nd respondent, requiring the petitioner to appear in person on 6.11.2020. As the petitioner was not keeping well, he requested to extend the date for appearance by four days. On 6.11.2020, petitioner tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted at the Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. He was discharged on 18.11.2020. The 2 nd respondent was informed about these developments, in spite of which, Exhibit P5 summons was issued, requiring the petitioner's presence at the Directorate on 27.11.2020. Again, the petitioner sought postponement of the date as he had not fully recuperated from the after effects of the viral infection. Thereafter, another summons was issued, asking the petitioner to appear on 10.12.2020. The petitioner expressed inability to appear on that day, since he had to be at the Hospital for review on 10.12.2020. Thereupon, Exhibit P11 summons was issued requiring the petitioner to appear before the 2 nd respondent on 17.12.2020. Hence, the writ petition.3. Heard Sri.R.Anil, learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri.S.V.Raju, learned Additional Solicitor General.4. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the challenge in the writ petition is not against the power to issue summons, but against the injudicious manner in which the power is being exercised. According to the learned counsel, repeated summoning of the petitioner, in spite of his ailments and weak physical condition, speaks volumes about the arbitrariness and mala fides behind the action. Therefore, the apprehension of the petitioner that he will be detained for long hours and made to give statements against his will, is well founded. It is pointed out that continuous interrogation for long hours will have adverse impact on the already weak health condition of the petitioner. It is submitted that, even if the presence of a lawyer during questioning is not allowed, there may at least be a direction to confine the questioning to a reasonable period of time.5. The learned ASG raised preliminary objection regarding maintainability of the writ petition. It was contended that the writ petition is liable to be dismissed as premature since, mere issuance of summons under Section 50 of the Act does not give rise to any cause of action. In support of this contention reliance is placed on the decision of the Apex Court in Kirit Shrimankar v. Union of India and Others [order dated 20.11.2014 in WP(Crl.). No.110/2013] and Union of India and Another v. Kunisetty Satyanarayana [(2006) 12 SCC 28]. In Kirit Shrimankar, the petitioner approached the Apex Court after officials from the Customs Department conducted search in the residential premises of his former wife. The petitioner alleged that he was threatened with arrest and incarceration, if he did not submit to the dictates of the Customs Officials. The Apex Court observed that it was highly premature for the petitioner to seek remedy under Article 32 of the Constitution of India based on such flimsy averments, which cannot form the basis for a prima facie apprehension. Thereupon, the petitioner withdrew the writ petition. In Kunisetty Satyanarayana, the appellant had approached the court on being served with a show cause notice by his employer regarding the genuineness of his caste certificate. After adverting to precedents, on the proposition that ordinarily no writ would lie against a charge sheet or show cause notice, the Apex Court held as follows;"14. The reason why ordinarily a writ petition should not be entertained against a mere show-cause notice or charge-sheet is that at that stage the writ petition may be held to be premature. A mere charge-sheet or show-cause notice does not give rise to any cause of action, because it does not amount to an adverse order which affects the rights of any party unless the same has been issued by a person having no jurisdiction to do so. It is quite possible that after considering the reply to the show-cause notice or after holding an enquiry the authority concerned may drop the proceedings and/or hold that the charges are not established. It is well settled that a writ petition lies when some right of any party is infringed. A mere show-cause notice or charge-sheet does not infringe the right of anyone. It is only when a final order imposing some punishment or otherwise adversely affecting a party is passed, that the said party can be said to have any grievance."The decision of the High Court of Delhi in Virbhadra Singh and Another v. Directorate of Enforcement and Another [2017 SCC Online Del 8930] was cited to contend that no person is entitled in law to evade the command of the summons issued under Section 50 of the Act on the ground that he may be prosecuted in future. Attention was drawn to the observations of the Honourable Supreme Court in Pool Pandi v. Superintendent, Central Excise [(1992) 3 SCC 259] on the entitlement of a person summoned under the Customs Act to have the presence of a companion during questioning. The relevant portion of the judgment is extracted hereunder:"11. We do not find any force in the arguments of Mr Salve and Mr Lalit that if a person is called away from his own house and questioned in the atmosphere of the Customs office without the assistance of his lawyer or his friends his constitutional right under Article 21 is violated. The argument proceeds thus : if the person who is used to certain comforts and convenience is asked to come by himself to the Department for answering questions it amounts to mental torture. We are unable to agree. It is true that large majority of persons connected with illegal trade and evasion of taxes and duties are in a position to afford luxuries on lavish scale of which an honest ordinary citizen of this country cannot dream of and they are surrounded by persons similarly involved either directly or indirectly in such pursuits. But that cannot be a ground for holding that he has a constitutional right to claim similar luxuries and company of his choice. Mr Salve was fair enough not to pursue his argument with reference to the comfort part, but continued to maintain that the appellant is entitled to the company of his choice during the questioning. The purpose of the enquiry under the Customs Act and the other similar statutes will be completely frustrated if the whims of the persons in possession of useful information for the departments are allowed to prevail. For achieving the object of such an enquiry if the appropriate authorities be of the view that such persons should be dissociated from the atmosphere and the company of persons who provide encouragement to them in adopting a non-cooperative attitude to the machineries of law, there cannot be any legitimate objection in depriving them of such company. The relevant provisions of the Constitution in this regard have to be construed in the spirit they were made and the benefits thereunder should not be "expanded" to favour exploiters engaged in tax evasion at the cost of public exchequer. Applying the 'just, fair and reasonable test' we hold that there is no merit in the stand of appellant before us."To drive home the limited scope of interference at the investigation stage, learned ASG cited the decision in Commissioner of Customs, Calcutta and Others v. M.M.Exports and Another [(2010) 15 SCC 647], wherein the Apex Court had cautioned that, as far as possible, High Courts should not interfere at the stage when the Department has issued summons. In Dukhishyam Benupani v. Assistant Director, Enforcement Directorate v. Arun Kumar Bajoria [(1998)1 SCC 52], interference by the High Court into the interrogation of a person summoned under Section 40 of the FERA, by fixing the time and venue for interrogation, was frowned upon and the Honourable Supreme Court observed that it is not the function of the court to monitor investigation processes so long as such investigation does not transgress any provision of law and that, the decision regarding the venue, the timings, the questions and the manner of putting such questions to persons involved in such offences, is best left to the discretion of the investigating agency.6. I find substantial force in the preliminary objection regarding maintainability raised by the learned ASG. Exhibit P11 summons is issued under Section 50(2) of the Act. A person issued with summons is bound to attend in person or through authorised agents, as the officer issuing the summons directs, and is bound to state the truth upon any subject respecting which he is examined or makes statements and to produce such documents as may be required. As held by the Apex Court in Kirit Shrimankar, no cause of action arises merely for reason of a person being called upon to state the truth or to make statements and produce documents. I am unable to accept the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the cause of action is based on the repeated summoning of the petitioner in spite of his illness, which gave rise to the reasonable apprehension that the petitioner will be forced to give statements agains

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t his will. I find no basis for such apprehension inasmuch as the date for appearance was changed by the 2nd respondent on three occasions, acceding to the request made by the petitioner. Having commenced an investigation or proceeding, the 2nd respondent cannot be expected to wait indefinitely to suit the petitioner's convenience. As held by the Apex Court in Dukhishyam Benupani, it is not for this Court to monitor the investigation and to decide the venue, the timings, the questions and the manner of questioning. I find the following observations by Justice R.K.Gauba in Virbhadra Singh to be contextually relevant;"Suffice it to observe in this context, and at this stage, that those in public life are expected to be open to probity. Higher the position in life (or polity), higher the obligation (moral, if not legal) to be accountable. Endeavours to stall investigation into their affairs by the law enforcement agencies, particularly on technical grounds, have the potency of giving the impression that there is something to hide."In the result, the writ petition is dismissed.
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