One of the key facets of the criminal law regime is that an individual/ entity should be given a fair and transparent trial. Sections 207 and 208 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“CrPC”) are in furtherance to the said principle, which relate to providing copies of police report and other documents to accused persons.Continue Reading Significance of Providing Un-Relied Documents to Accused: An Indicator of a Fair Trial
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”), which came into force w.e.f. July 01, 2005, was enacted pursuant to India’s international obligations inter alia under the Vienna and Palermo Conventions, the Political Declaration and Global Programme of Action (1990) adopted by the UN General Assembly, and to give effect to the recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for combating money laundering (popularly known as the “Forty Recommendations”).Continue Reading Spotlight: Why PMLA Scheduled Offences need a fresh look?
The powers of revision serve to provide an important avenue to an accused or the prosecution seeking to remedy any patent defect in the finding of a trial court through different stages of a criminal trial. However, a key stakeholder in a criminal trial, as has been recognized by the Supreme Court of India, from time to time is also the complainant, who may also be the victim of the alleged criminal act. It would, therefore, not be out of place to assess the role that a complainant/informant plays in revisionary proceedings before a superior court. It is this aspect that forms the subject matter of the present blog. In an effort to situate the role of a complainant in criminal revision proceedings, in the following segments, we discuss: (i) the scope and powers of a revision court; (ii) the locus standi of a complainant/informant; (iii) the circumstances whereunder a complainant/informant is permitted to intervene in revision proceedings and the extent of such intervention and (iv) nuances surrounding a revision application which has already been preferred by the State.Continue Reading Intervention in Criminal Revision Petitions by the Complainant
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (“Hon’ble SC”) in its recent judgment dated March 27, 2023, in State Bank of India & Ors. v. Rajesh Agarwal & Ors.[i], has conclusively decided on the question of whether the principles of natural justice should be read into the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) (Fraud Classification and Reporting by Commercial Banks and Select FIs) Directions, 2016[ii] (“Master Directions on Frauds”). The question, which has been pending before various High Courts and was raised before the Hon’ble SC in numerous appeals, has now been answered in the affirmative by the Hon’ble SC by holding that the principles of natural justice, particularly the rule of audi alteram partem, has to be necessarily read into the Master Directions on Frauds to save it from vice of arbitrariness as classification of an account as fraud entails serious civil consequences for the borrowers.Continue Reading Principles of Natural Justice Prevail: Supreme Court Reads Rule of Audi Alteram Partem into Master Directions on Frauds
The Ministry of Finance has issued a notification dated March 07, 2023 (“Notification”), classifying entities that engage in specific activities (see below) related to Virtual Digital Assets (“VDA(s)”) in the course of business, as “persons carrying on designated business or profession” Therefore, such entities are now considered “Reporting Entities” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and the corresponding rules (“PMLA”).Continue Reading PMLA Concerns for the Skill Gaming Sector?
The Supreme Court of India has in its recent landmark judgment in Satender Kumar Antil laid down guidelines on the grant of bail to an accused and while doing so, it has reiterated aspects of personal liberty and constitutional guarantees available to an accused under criminal jurisprudence. The Court observed that while its discussion and findings are meant to operate as guidelines, each case pertaining to a bail application is to be decided on its own merits. This article seeks to analyse these guidelines and evaluate their consequences and operation in practice.Continue Reading Bail or Jail – The Supreme Court clarifies the law and lays down the guidelines
The offence of money laundering, as per the definition in Black’s Law Dictionary is “the act of transferring illegally obtained money through legitimate people or accounts so that its original source cannot be traced”. Further to this definition, it is only but natural to assume that the money, if illegally obtained, must be obtained in relation to the commission of an underlying criminal offence. The commission and requirement of this underlying offence, commonly known as a predicate offence, has been a point of debate since the introduction of the Prevention and Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“the Act”), which provides a list of offences in the Schedule appended thereto as ‘scheduled offences’.Continue Reading The Concept of Predicate Offence: The Supreme Court Clarifies
The recent judgment of the Supreme Court (“SC”) in Devas Multimedia Private Limited v. Antrix Corporation Limited (“the Antrix case”) has many interesting facets. It brings to light some interesting questions of law on the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and the Bilateral Investment Treaties when the claimant company (Decree holder) is ordered to be wound up (for the first time in India) on the grounds of fraud, which is against the public policy of India and most jurisdictions that are signatories to the New York Convention.Continue Reading SC’s decision in the Devas Antrix Case: Does it dilute evidentiary value of the Auditor’s Report under the Companies Act?
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”), an umbrella legislation, has successfully envisaged the process of speedy resolution or liquidation of a corporate entity and has proved to be a milestone in the Indian legal framework. By bringing IBC in force, the legislature has sought to maximise the value of the assets of the debtor, and to adopt a fair and transparent procedure for the disposition of the assets while balancing the interests of all stakeholders.Continue Reading Enforcement directorate under PMLA can no longer attach assets once liquidation process has been initiated under IBC
The craft of cross examination is often tested by the ingenuity of a trial lawyer in impeaching the credibility of a witness by extracting contradictions such that his previous testimony becomes unworthy of belief. The art of cross examination has always been deemed the surest test of truth and a better security than oath. The method lies in introducing and proving an otherwise inadmissible evidence, with a masterful knowledge of the underlying laws of evidence. At a macro level, the broad contours of impeaching the credit of a witness is contemplated under Section 155 of the Evidence Act, 1872 (the “Act”), where under inter alia proving contradictions play a formidable part. Superior courts in India have time and again emphasised on the imperativeness of proving contradictions in consonance with the procedure prescribed under Section 145 the Act. Whilst, in a large measure, Section 145 of the Act is worded to take within its fold the procedure for proving contradictions in both criminal and civil trials by an adverse party, outlined below is an attempt at non-exhaustively analysing the procedure for extracting and proving contradictions in a criminal trial.Continue Reading Explaining the Rudimentary Principles of Proving Contradictions in a Criminal Trial