FERA case: ED tells HC cannot share documents with TTV Dhinakaran

The Enforcement Directorate has informed the Madras High Court it cannot share copies of official documents, including the case diary, to Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dhinakaran in connection with the 1996 FERA case filed against him.

When the criminal revision petition by Dhinakaran came up yesterday before Justice M V Muralidaran, the ED filed a counter affidavit stating that the documents sought by the accused to defend himself in the two-decade-old case cannot be provided to him as doing so is barred under the CrPC.

Dhinakaran had filed the petition challenging the order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Economic Offences-II), here declining to issue copies of certain documents, including the case diary, sought by him.

The ED submitted that Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), 1973, prohibits disclosure of any document, information, or intelligence of the department which were kept highly confidential and protected.

Hence, such documents also cannot be provided, it said.

The matter relates to the allegation that Dhinakaran acquired USD 1,04,93,313 in foreign exchange without obtaining prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India and deposited it in the current account of Dipper Investments Ltd., a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, and having account with Barclays Bank, Sutton, United Kingdom.

Pointing out that the accused has also sought the copy of an official communication between high commissions of India and ED, it said the lower court was right in rejecting the demand as those are official communications between government departments and the accused has failed to establish the need for those documents.

With a view to drag the hearing of the case, the petition was filed by Dhinakaran, the ED said.

On March 7, the high court had stayed all further proceedings in the lower court here in the case filed by the ED against Dhinakaran under FERA.

Recording the submissions, the judge posted the matter for tomorrow for next hearing.

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