Bombay High Court Wednesday reserved its judgment in a petition filed by former BCCI president Shashank Manohar challenging a notice issued by Enforcement Directorate (ED) to proceed against him for allegedly transferring $50 million to an account in South Africa during the 2009 season of IPL in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations.
On June 6,the ED sent a notice to Manohar to initiate adjudication process against him over the alleged fund transfer. ED had first issued a notice to Manohar on November 25,2011 to which he had sent a reply on February 23,2012.
Manohars counsel Raju Subramanian told the court that the ED has not said in any of its documents that Manohar was responsible for opening the account or transfer of the funds.
Lalit Modi spearheaded the IPL idea and all major decisions were taken by him after approval from the committee, Subramanian said. He added that Manohar was honorary president of BCCI and not a full-time president.
Arguing for ED,Additional Solicitor General Kevic Setalvad and lawyer Som Sinha,however,said $50 million was brazenly transferred into an account in South Africa. The money was kept abroad,harboured abroad and remains abroad. There has been no repatriation,there has been a loss of foreign exchange, Setalvad said.
Chief Justice Mohit Shah asked,Prima facie,contravention has taken place but what is the role of the petitioner (Manohar)?
Setalvad told the court that if he is a party to the decision made,he would be covered by FEMA provisions. He also said Manohars reply to the first notice has not answered various questioned raised by ED and that would lead to the investigating agency forming an opinion that a violation has been committed.