Mumbai: The Bombay High Court while dismissing the bail plea of Sadanand Kadam, aide of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Parab, in an alleged money laundering case related to Dapoli Resort, emphasised the legitimacy of both the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) complaint and the FIR registered at Dapoli police station as predicate offences. The court rejected the bail plea by Kadam on Wednesday.
The court, in a detailed order, said that merely because a separate Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) was not registered for the FIR at Dapoli police station, it would not negate its consideration as a predicate offence.
ED registers case based on MoEFCC complaint
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) had registered a case against Parab and Kadam based on a complaint by the MoEFCC alleging illegal effluent discharge into the sea and hotel construction in a No Development Zone. Later, an FIR was registered by the Dapoli police station, which the ED said was also a part of the predicate offence.
Kadam contended that the absence of a separate ECIR for the FIR at Dapoli meant it couldn't be considered a predicate offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). His plea highlighted the quashing of the process issued on the MoEF complaint at the revisional court, claiming there was no current predicate offence against Kadam.
“Some of the offences pertaining to the FIR are the scheduled offences. The complaint is filed on the basis of the materials which form a part of the investigation into the MoEFCC complaint as well as the FIR,” Justice Karnik added.
Invoking protection under double jeopardy, Kadam contended that the accusations in the Dapoli FIR were nearly identical to those in the MoEFCC complaint.
FIR against persons who are irrelevant to the case:HC
Rejecting this contention, Justice Karnik said, “The FIR though may be in relation to the same property, but is filed at the instance of a different entity and against so many accused who are not concerned with the private complaint of the MoEFCC.”
Kadam was arrested in March this year under various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He approached the HC after his bail plea was rejected by the special PMLA court.