In a relief to IT firm Tech Mahindra, the High Court of Judicature here dismissed a petition filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging the court’s earlier decision of issuing stay orders on agency’s attachment of fixed deposit worth Rs 822 crore belonging to the company.In 2012, the ED had issued attachment orders freezing fixed deposits of Mahindra Satyam (now merged into Tech Mahindra) in connection with its probe in a money laundering case. A single bench judge had later stayed all further proceedings pursuant to the attachment order. Challenging the single judge order, ED had filed a writ appeal before the bench.The bench comprising Justice B Subhash Reddy and Justice A Shankar Narayana on December 31, 2014, issued orders dismissing the ED’s appeal, saying that the act of ED is contrary to the rules. “Further, from a perusal of the provisions under Sections 5(1)(c) and 8(1) of the Act, it is clear that unless there is material to show that such property/money is likely to be concealed or transferred in any manner which may result in frustrating the proceedings relating to confiscation of such proceeds of Crime, prima facie, we are of the view that such attachment runs contra to the language of the said Section itself,” the bench said in its order.Tech Mahindra argued that it is a victim of fraud and no proceedings can lie under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, against them. The ED had attached the accounts of SCSL (formerly Satyam Computer Services Ltd) after it was found in the probe that B Ramalinga Raju and his associates “wrongfully” offloaded inflated shares of the said company by way of sale or pledging of shares, the order alleged.Trail of loans derived from front companies revealed that Rs 822 crore out of Rs 2171.45 crore found their way to Satyam Computers and were used for day-to-day expenses like payment of salaries among others, the ED had said in its order. The Court, last month quashed all the money laundering cases filed by the ED against Tech Mahindra.
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