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ORISSA HIGH COURT DENIES BAIL TO ACCUSED UNDER PMLA CITING FLIGHT RISK

This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Odisha through the division bench of Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi in the case of Mohammad Arif v. Enforcement Directorate (BLAPL No. 8882 of 2021)

FACTS

M/s Fine Industrious Pvt. Ltd (FIPL) had collected huge amount from the general public. FIPL transferred the amount to M/s Eva Industries and in turn Eva Industries transferred some amount to M/s Great Entertainment and said M/s Great Entertainment transferred an amount of Rs.25 Crores to the company of the accused namely M/s Lemon Entertainment Ltd, in which the petitioner is a Detector having 8.87% share and that the petitioner had withdrawn Rs.1.5 Crores through self-cheque in the meantime the prosecution has also filed one supplementary / additional complaint petition on 10.01.2020, before the learned trial court.

The petitioner being in custody in connection with Complaint Case bearing C.C. (PMLA) No.47 of 2017 arising out of Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered ECIR No.7 of 2009 pending before the court of learned Sessions Judge-cum-Special Judge under PMLA, Khurdha, Bhubaneswar, registered for the alleged commission of offence under Sections 3 and 4 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, has filed this application under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. for his release on bail.

Judgement

 Since the petitioner is a resident of Delhi and there is likelihood of flight risk and misuse of the liberty of bail and the trial is likely to suffer, the present case does not inspire the confidence of this Court to use the judicial discretion to grant bail in favour of the petitioner.

Considering the nature and gravity of the accusation, character of evidence appearing against the petitioner, the stringent punishment prescribed and that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the petitioner has no role in the offence alleged or not likely to commit any such offence, which is not possible to record in this case. The prayer for bail is devoid of any merit. Accordingly, the prayer for bail stands rejected. However, the Trial court is directed to expedite the trial and take steps to complete the trial preferably within a period of six months from today.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIK MISHRA

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