Court asks ED to expedite FERA case against Dhinakaran

General

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (ACMM) – Economic Offences-II S.Malarmathy has asked counsel for Enforcement Directorate to advance his arguments in two FERA cases against AIADMK deputy general secretary T.T.V.Dhinakaran.

The cases were pending before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court(ACMM)-Economic Offences-II for more than two decades. After several rounds of litigation in the higher courts, the trial court was about to frame charge against the lone accused.

Citing election work in R.K.Nagar, Mr. Dhinakaran did not appear in previous hearings. Likewise, he did not appear before the court on Monday and instead, his counsel filed a petition seeking to dispense with his personal appearance and sought to adjourn the case since his side preferred an appeal in the Madras High Court.

The charge against Mr. Dhinakaran is that he acquired $1,04,93,313 in foreign exchange without permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and deposited it in the current account of Dipper Investments Ltd., a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, with Barclays Bank, Sutton, United Kingdom.

Another case against him was that he acquired foreign exchange of $36,36,000 and £1,00,000 pounds and making payment for the credit of a person resident outside India without the general or special exemption of the Reserve Bank of India. All funding went into account of shell companies — Dipper Investments, Ltd., Banyan Tress Enterprises Ltd and Turnkey Industries Limited. In both case, Mr. Dhinakaran was slapped with ₹28 crore penalty. Since he failed to pay the penalty, the ED inititated the cases.

Presenting charges against Mr. Dhinakaran, Mr.Dhandapani said the accused transferred amount 21 times through cheques signed by him and several incriminating documents were recovered from him.

Reading out a letter written by Mr. Dhinakaran in 1996 from Central Prison after he was detained under COFEPOSA, ED counsel said Mr. Dhinakaran claimed that he was a non-resident Indian having obtained that status and complied with all the formalities under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and made necessary declaration to the Reserve Bank of India.

“I had also intended to migrate to Singapore and obtained permanent residency status. The dispute in my case devolves around a bank account in U.K. with the Barclays Bank. It is my contention that money in the bank belong to the clients of a Solicitor in London. By operation of the account on his behalf I have not violated the provisions of FERA since I happened to be a non-resident Indian,” Mr. Dhandapani said.

Mr.Dhandapani pointed out that through his letter, the accused admitted to bring back the money and his claim on non-resident Indian status was rejected by Madras High Court and Supreme Court.

Later the court adjourned the case for further proceedings to April 13.