Economic offenders have huge proceeds of crime, may use it to win over witnesses: Allahabad High Court denies anticipatory bail to accused

By:-Anupam Singh Sengar

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of a man accused in a money laundering case [Pankaj Grover v. Directorate of Enforcement]. According to the court, economic criminals are solely concerned with personal gain at the expense of “unfixable” societal harm. Justice Chandra Dhari Singh who was present on the bench in this case has remarked that noted such people commit crimes with the sole objective to earn more money and do not care about society.

“They are in possession of a large amount of proceeding of crime. He further the court said that money which is earned through honesty and labour, is spent wisely and the person spending it thinks again and again but when the same money is earned by corrupt ways then the person would spend it freely without thinking and such criminal has large funds and there are high probabilities that he or she would try to influence the investigation by tempering pieces of evidence.

The Court was considering a petition filed by Pankaj Grover, a former “sleeping” director of M/s Surgicoin Medequip Pvt. Ltd. Grover and his father was accused of conspiring to hide the “proceeds of crime” from the allegedly laundered money. According to the agency After learning of the commencement of the current procedures under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the accused allegedly “secretly” sold half of the industrial properties. The written orders issued by the father to his son, which were discovered during the search, indicated that they were in possession of goods obtained from the proceeds of crime, according to the charges.

The agency claimed to have taken possession of such homes in 2017. The profits of crime were assessed to be worth Rs 21.20 crore, according to the inquiry. The applicant’s lawyer contended that the investigating authority submitted the current complaint after an eight-year period had passed from the date of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR). It was stated that because the applicant cooperated with the investigation as and when instructed, his detention was unnecessary.

The Court emphasized that offenders of socio-economic crimes were financially healthy since the proceeds of crime in such situations were significantly bigger. The Court did clarify, however, that its views were made “exclusively” for the anticipatory bail application and “shall not in any way impact the trial.”