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.Continue Reading Preliminary Chargesheet And Grant Of Default Bail: Untangling The Web

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.Continue Reading Fraud-Related Disputes Arbitrable: Bombay High Court

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

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”).Continue Reading Arrests under PMLA: Arrest first, reasons to follow?

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

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

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

Section 120B of IPC cannot be treated as a standalone offence to attract prosecution under PMLA: Supreme Court

INTRODUCTION

In a recent judgement of Pavana Dibbur v. The Directorate of Enforcement[1], the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”), will be attributed as a scheduled offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA / Act”), only if the alleged criminal conspiracy is associated with committing of a scheduled offence, i.e. an offence specifically included in the Schedule to the PMLA. The Hon’ble Court held that if the offence of alleged criminal conspiracy is related to any other offence, which does not form a part of the Schedule to the PMLA, then the alleged criminal conspiracy by itself shall not be considered as a “scheduled offence” under the regime of the PMLA and hence, no person can be held liable and be prosecuted for it.[2]Continue Reading Section 120B of IPC cannot be treated as a standalone offence to attract prosecution under PMLA: Supreme Court

Ensuring Transparency: The Imperative of Mandatory Furnishing of Written Grounds of Arrest by the Enforcement Directorate

Background:

In the realm of law enforcement, transparency and accountability are indispensable pillars upholding the democratic values of a society. The Directorate of Enforcement (“ED”), tasked with investigating and prosecuting economic offenses, plays a vital role in maintaining financial integrity. However, concerns surrounding the lack of transparency in some of the arrests made by the ED have been raised.Continue Reading Ensuring Transparency: The Imperative of Mandatory Furnishing of Written Grounds of Arrest by the Enforcement Directorate

truth or illusion? - Criminal Liability of Digital Intermediaries in the age of deepfakes

Introduction

A deepfake connotes a highly realistic synthetic media of a real person, generated by an Artificial Intelligence. While a parallel can be drawn between photo-alteration technology and deepfakes, the latter is inherently disingenuous because it makes it difficult to ascertain doctoring. The gravity of leaving this technology unregulated is severe because it can be used to disseminate misinformation with drastic political, reputational and financial implications.Continue Reading Truth or Illusion? – Criminal Liability of Digital Intermediaries in the age of Deepfakes