The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea of AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran seeking extension of the three-month time to contest the framing of charges against him in a FERA violation case. The apex court warned Dhinakaran that if such “frivolous” petitions are filed again, then it may impose heavy cost on him.
The Madras High Court had in July vacated the stay on the proceedings against Dhinakaran in a Foreign Exchange Regulations Act (FERA) case pending in a special court. It had set aside the charges framed against him by the special court on April 19 and directed the trial court to start afresh the proceedings after granting adequate opportunity to the accused and completing the process within three months.
A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit sought to know what could be the reason for Dhinakaran to feel aggrieved with the high court order directing trial court to complete framing of charges proceedings in three months. “Why are you aggrieved? Do you want us to issue directions to all courts to not decide cases expeditiously? If you file such frivolous petitions again, we may impose heavy cost on you. The bar should have some responsibility,” the bench said.
Counsel appearing for the AIADMK leader said it would be difficult for him to put up his arguments in three months and more time is needed. He said since the case was very old, he will need more time and three-month cap will not be sufficient for him. “You moved High Court after framing of charges by special court saying you were not accorded adequate opportunity to put up your defence. The court granted you three months time but now still you are aggrieved. This is not done,” the bench said.
The prosecution has alleged that Dhinakaran acquired USD 1,04,93,313 in foreign exchange without obtaining prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India and deposited it in the current account of Dipper Investments Limited, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and having accounts with Barclays Bank, Sutton, UK.
The Enforcement Directorate had charged him under FERA violation and Rs 28 crore penalty was imposed on him. On April 19, the special court had framed charges against him in the two decade old case, based on the chargesheet filed by the investigating agency.