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Summoning additional accused in criminal trial: When, why and how

OVERVIEW

Can a person who is neither named in the first information report (“FIR”) nor mentioned in the chargesheet, be summoned by a trial court later to face trial as an accused in respect of the very same FIR and chargesheet? If so, what would be the threshold and under what circumstances can such power be exercised?

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Tarsem Lal v Directorate of Enforcement: Supreme Court further clarifies PMLA framework

OVERVIEW:

Through a series of recent judgements, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has outlined limits to the Directorate of Enforcement’s (“ED”) powers under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”). Resultantly, issues that were rather ambiguous are now a lot clearer.

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ED cannot arrest accused once cognizance is taken by the Special Court under PMLA: Supreme Court

Introduction:

In Tarsem Lal v. Directorate of Enforcement Jalandhar Zonal Office,[1] the bench comprising Justices Abhay S. Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan of the Supreme Court (“SC”) held on (i) the Enforcement Directorate’s (“ED”) powers of arrest under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002[2] (“PMLA”), once cognizance is taken of a PMLA complaint under Section 44(1)(b) of the PMLA,[3] and (ii) the applicability of the twin conditions of bail under Section 45 of the PMLA[4] in instances where the accused has furnished a bond in accordance with Section 88 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973[5] (“CrPC”), for appearance in court following summons. In this significant decision, the SC essentially addresses the extent of the ED’s powers of arrest and applicability of the stringent twin conditions of bail under Section 45 of the PMLA once the Special Court has taken cognizance of a complaint under Section 44 of the PMLA.

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Preliminary Chargesheet And Grant Of Default Bail: Untangling The Web

OVERVIEW

The proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 167 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“CrPC “),titled “Procedure when investigation cannot be completed in twenty-four hours, provides that an accused shall be entitled to “default bail” if the investigation is not complete within 60 (sixty) or 90 (ninety) days – depending on the prescribed punishment for the offence. However, if a chargesheet is filed in this duration, then default bail cannot be granted.

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Fraud-Related Disputes Arbitrable: Bombay High Court

Arbitrability of a dispute is a key factor in any arbitration, as it establishes the jurisdictional reach of an arbitral tribunal. In Booze Allen and Hamilton Inc. v. SBI Home Finance Ltd.,[1] the Supreme Court stated that the disputes dealing with rights in personam are arbitrable, but those pertaining to rights in rem are not as they can affect the public.

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Sita Soren vs. Union of India: The Interplay between Anti-Corruption Laws and Legislative Immunity

In the recent landmark ruling of Sita Soren vs. Union of India,[1] a constitution bench of the Supreme Court unanimously ruled on, inter alia, the liability of a Member of Parliament with respect to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (“PCA”), and the legislative immunity granted by the Constitution under Articles 105 and 194. This judgement overruled a long-standing position of law, laid down in PV Narasimha Rao vs. State (CBI/SPE ), which dealt with a Member of Parliament’s immunity from prosecution on charges of bribery in a criminal court.[2] This article analyses the position of anti-corruption provisions and its impact in view of the observations in Sita Soren.

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Arrests under PMLA: Arrest first, reasons to follow?

INTRODUCTION

Vide order dated March 20, 2024, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India rejected a petition[1] preferred by the Union of India, seeking a review of the judgement passed in Pankaj Bansal v Union of India[2](“Pankaj Bansal”), wherein it was held that it was mandatory for the Directorate of Enforcement (“ED”) to provide written ‘reasons for arrest’ to a person arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”).

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Supreme Court overrules ‘Asian Resurfacing’ judgment: No automatic vacation of stay orders passed by High Courts

Introduction:

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, vide its recent judgment in High Court Bar Association Allahabad v. State Of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.,[1]adjudicated inter alia upon whether the court, in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, can order the automatic vacation of all interim/ stay orders of the High Court in civil and criminal cases on the expiry of a certain period.

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Interplay between Foreign Extortion Prevention Act (“FEPA”) & Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (“PC Act”)

US President Joe Biden signed the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act in December 2023 (“FEPA”), a federal criminal offense creating criminal liability on foreign officials who demand or accept bribes thus acting as a concomitant legislation to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (“FCPA”)[1]. While FCPA only criminalized/ prohibited US companies from offering or bribing foreign officials, the introduction of FEPA provides a level playing field for US companies and reverses criminal liability on foreign officials, mirroring FCPA.

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Tests “Public Servants” must pass to claim protection under Section 197 of Cr.P.C. and is there a silver lining?

The Dilemma:

If an investigating authority intends to investigate a public servant[1], the authority has to mandatorily secure appropriate sanction from a competent authority[2] to even begin the investigation. Particularly, when the allegations pertain to offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”), the investigating authority must secure the sanction under Section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“CrPC”), from the competent authority and when the allegations pertain to offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (“PC Act”), sanction must be secured under Section 19 of the PC Act. Often, the alleged act under investigation attracts punishment or penalty under both IPC and PC Act.

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