(Prayer in both Crl.RCs: Criminal Revision Petitions filed u/s.397 read with 401 of Cr.P.C., against the order of the learned Principal Sessions Judge, in Crl.M.P.No.10181 of 2017 in C.C.No.58 of 2016.)
The Criminal Revision Petitions are filed against the order of the learned Principal Sessions Judge passed in Crl.M.P.No.10181 of 2017 in C.C.No.58 of 2016.
2. The respondent filed the complaint against the petitioners and 13 others under Section 45(1) read with Section 3 and 4 and 8(5) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 [hereinafter called PMLA Act, 2002]. The said petition was taken on file before the Principal Sessions Judge, Chennai. The learned Sessions Judge taken the complaint on file in C.C.No.58/2016. After serving the summons, the petitioners herein are arrayed as Accused Nos.14 and 15. After service of summons, they received the copy and filed petition u/s.245(2) Cr.P.C., before the Sessions Judge, to discharge them from the case in C.C.No.58/2016. The learned Sessions Judge, after enquiry, dismissed the said petition. Challenging the said order passed by the Sessions Judge, the accused No.14 has filed Crl.R.C.1252 of 2018 and accused No.15 has filed Crl.R.C.No.1253 of 2018. Since both the petitioners filed the petition jointly u/s.245(2) of Cr.P.C., before the Sessions Judge, the learned Sessions Judge passed the order on 23.04.2018. Now both the petitioners have filed these revisions separately. Therefore, both the revisions are taken up together for passing common order.
3. The learned counsel for the appellant would submit that the respondent does not disclose any offence under Section 3 of PMLA Act, 2002, against these petitioners. None of the documents has any connection to the alleged commission of offences. The money for the purchase of sale of diamond is being deposited in their account by RTGS method, also in respect of the purchase or sale of the diamonds. There is no evidence against them for connecting them to the alleged offences. All the monetary transactions of the individuals cannot be brought under Money Laundering. There is no incriminating materials against the petitioners to connect the petitioners in the involvement of the offence under PMLA Act. Therefore, the sole reason that the amount deposited in their account by RTGS method, is not an offence under the above said Act. The learned Sessions Judge failed to consider the materials placed before him that there is absolutely no material against the petitioners to connect them as accused. After trial, the insufficient materials may lead to acquit the petitioners. Without any sufficient incriminating materials against them, there is no need to face the ordeal of the trial, which will only be a futile exercise. Therefore, the order of the Sessions Judge is liable to be set aside.
4. The learned Government Advocate (Criminal Side) would submit that there is averment against these appellants in the complaint and there are incriminating materials against them. Even the petitioners herein have also given the statement before the investigating agency during the investigation. A-4 also given the statement in which the involvement of these petitioners have been clearly stated. Therefore, once there are allegations against these petitioners in the complaint, it is for the petitioners A-14, A-15 to defend the same before the trial court. The court can proceed further by framing of charges and the defence taken by the accused need not be taken into consideration and the documents produced by the petitioners need not be considered at this stage. The learned Sessions Judge rightly dismissed the petition filed by these petitioners for discharging them from the case and there is no merit in the revisions and they are liable to be dismissed.
5. Heard and perused the records.
6. Admittedly, the respondent authority filed the complaint against 15 persons u/s.245(2)Cr.P.C., read with Sections 3, 4 and 8 (5) of PMLA Act, in which these petitioners have been arrayed as A-14, A-15 respectively.
7. A reading of the averments made in the complaint in paragraph 7.14 reveals that there is allegation against A-14 and in paragraph 7.15 prima facie there is allegation against A-15. In order to support the said allegation, the Government Advocate produced copy of the statements given by A-14, A-15 and further statement given by A-4, which clearly reveal the role of the present petitioners. Therefore, once prima facie allegations against these petitioners are made out, trial court can proceed with the complaint by framing charges.
8. While deciding petition u/s.245(2) Cr.P.C., the court need not conduct a roving enquiry on the materials placed by the prosecution and the admissibility and the validity of the statement given by the other accused have to be decided only at the time of trial and the defence taken by the accused need not be considered in deciding the petition u/s.245(2) Cr.P.C. It can be decided only after trial and therefore, this court finds that prima facie there are averments in the complaint and also to support the averments, the prosecution also relied on the statements given by the Revision Petitioners/A14 and A15. Therefore, under these circumstances, this court does not find any illegality or infirmity in the order passed by the trial court.
9. While dealing with the present Revisions, the c
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ourt has to see the impugned order passed by the court below as to whether there is any perversity or illegality or infirmity in the findings and this court does not find perversity in the order passed by the Sessions Judge and therefore, the Revisions are liable to be dismissed. 10. In the result, the Criminal Revisions are dismissed. The petitioners are at liberty to canvass their defence during the trial. The complaint is pending from the year 2016. Therefore, the Sessions Judge is directed to frame the charges against the accused in the complaint and proceed further in accordance with law.