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HC dismisses India Cements plea challenging order on FEMA violation

56   //    05 Jun 2018, 21:43 IST

Chennai, Jun 5 (PTI) The Madras High Court today

dismissed a plea by India Cements Limited, sponsors of Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings, against a order of a single judge who upheld a Enforcement Directorate notice to it for alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act during the team's IPL tour of South Africa in 2009.

India Cements Limited (ICL) had contended that the ED chose to issue the notice dated November 4, 2016 for personal hearing without adhering to FEMA Rules, 2000.

A division bench, comprising justices K K Sasidharan and R Subramaniyan, said it agreed with the conclusion of the single judge.

"Whenever a statute requires a particular thing to be done in a particular manner, it is a trite position of law that it should be done in that manner alone and not otherwise.

"The provisions of sub-Rule 3 of Rule 4 in contradiction to the provisions of the Section 5(1) of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002, do not require the reasons to be recorded in writing..," it said.

Dismissing the plea, the bench said "we see no merits in this appeal."

According to India Cements, an Indian Premier League (IPL) game, scheduled to be conducted in India in April, 2009 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), of which the ICL is a franchise, was rescheduled in view of the general elections scheduled around the same time.

The Union government had, for security reasons, advised the BCCI to reschedule the match.

As the schedule could not be altered, the BCCI had resolved to shift the venue of the match to South Africa.

The ICL had voiced its concern about the change of venue and to alleviate the associated concerns and costs.

The BCCI had agreed to support the franchise with regard to the additional expenses to be incurred by it, which included the costs of travel and accommodation.

It was submitted that because of the paucity of time, there was no written agreement between the BCCI and the ICL.

Alleging infraction of the FEMA provisions, the ED had filed a complaint against the ICL and its officers before the deputy director of the agency in Mumbai.

A show-cause notice was issued to the company, which had explained that no amount was paid by the BCCI to the CSA on behalf of the ICL. The company had also submitted that there were no contraventions of the FEMA.

The ED had then issued a notice seeking a personal hearing, following which the ICL filed a plea before the Madras High Court, alleging that it was issued by "non-recording the reasons."

A single judge of the court had, on March 2, 2017, dismissed the petition filed by the ICL, stating that the reasons were clearly disclosed by the office of the Deputy Director of Enforcement Directorate, Mumbai.

The ED deputy director's office had specifically indicated that the case required an in-depth examination and that it had not determined the case against the ICL or passed an order adverse to its interest, the judge said

Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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