SC to examine attachment of Reddy's assets

SC to examine attachment of Reddy's assets

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine if properties can be attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA), while applying the law retrospectively.

A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul issued notice to Obulapuram Mining Company, former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Redd y and others on a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate.

The Enforcement Directorate, represented by Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, has challenged the Karnataka High Court’s order of March 13. The high court had set aside the proceedings initiated against Reddy and his wife Lakshmi Aruna and others and also attachment of their assets worth over Rs 900 crore.
The apex court sought response from the mining company and others within three weeks.

The high court had allowed petitions filed by Reddy, his wife and two companies — Obulapuram Mining Company Pvt Ltd and Bramhani Industries Ltd — against the proceedings initiated by the Enforcement Directorate in 2010. Their assets were provisionally attached by the adjudicating authority in 2014 on the prima facie reason that the assets were “proceeds of the crime” as defined under the PML Act.

Scheduled offences

Reddy and others contended that certain offences under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, the Forest (Conservation) Act, the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act were included under the PML Act declaring them “scheduled offences” only with effect from June 1, 2009.

However, the offences made out against him and others were committed during the period that ended in July 2007 and hence the ED could not have invoked provisions of anti-money laundering law with retrospective effect.
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