The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Amjad Sayed and Madhav Jamdar on Monday refused to transfer nine criminal trials going on in the over Rs 150 crore scam that took place in 2000 in the Nagpur District Central Cooperative Bank (NDCCB), from various districts to Mumbai. The HC said all nine cases will be tried by the concerned district courts.
Notably, three criminal cases under charges of conspiracy, fraud and cheating are registered in Mumbai, while two were reported in Pune and one each at Nagpur, Osmanabad, Wardha and Amravati.
The bench was dealing with a bunch of petitions filed broker Sanjay Agrawal, the Chief Executive Officer of M/s Home Trade Ltd. which was engaged in the business of stock and
securities, brokering and trading. The company was listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Bombay Stock Exchange of India (BSE) and
also Pune Stock Exchange (PSE).
The entire scam pertain to the transactions that have taken place in Mumbai wherein the Government
of India Securities were offered, sold and purchased.
Advocate Niteen Pradhan for Agrawal pointed out that certain contract notes were
executed and issued by his client's company as a member of NSE in
Mumbai. "The money transactions have also taken place in Mumbai. The
consideration amount of the District Co-operative Banks from Wardha,
Nagpur, Amravati, Osmanabad, Mumbai and Pune were paid and received
in Mumbai. All securities transactions were routed
through existing bank accounts of these District Co-operative Banks at
Maharashtra State Central Co-operative Bank, Fort Branch at Mumbai," Pradhan submitted while pressing for transferring all the nine trials to Mumbai.
However, advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni submitted that all the trials will have to be held in the concerned district courts as they are competent and also have the jurisdictions to try the matters.
Referring to various provisions of law and the judgments of various high courts and also the Supreme Court,the judges held that the concerned district courts would be competent enough to try the cases before them.
"Thus, it is clear that the issue regarding jurisdiction can be raised
before the Magistrate who is trying the offence. If
the issue of jurisdiction is raised the Magistrate after taking into
consideration the evidence led in the respective criminal cases is duty bound
to decide the said issue," the bench held, adding, "In fact transferring (the cases) will cause inconvenience to the
parties and witnesses. Taking overall view of the matter transferring trial of
all these criminal cases will not be in the interest of justice."