High Court no to defreeze bank accounts of foodgrain trader

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Sep 2017 09:55:26


Staff Reporter,

Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has refused to direct the authorities to defreeze bank accounts of a foodgrain trader from naxal infested belt of Gadchiroli district Parshuram Bajirao Dongre.
The petitioner has challenged the order of the Joint Secretary of Union Home Ministry on February 8, 2017 freezing his accounts in the names of
Ankit Traders and Parshuram Bajirao Dongre with Aheri branch of State Bank of India and Alapalli branch of Bank of Maharashtra and Bank of India under the provisions of Section 51­A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

According to the petitioner, he is a businessman dealing with the supply of food grains and Tendu leaves and claimed that without any evidence or material to show or suspect that the petitioner has engaged in activities connected with terrorism, the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was invoked.

There is no reference in the order as to how the petitioner is responsible or why for the order is passed against the
petitioner for freezing the account, the petitioner claimed. The entire business of the petitioner is at standstill, it was contended.

However, the Centre very strongly countered the argument and stated that at the time of passing the order under section 51-A of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, certain inputs were received from the intelligence agency. Offences are registered against petitioner-trader not only under the provisions of Indian Penal Code but the offences are also registered against the petitioner under the provisions of Sections 17, 18, 21 and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

ASGI Ulhas Aurangabadkar submitted some critical inputs for the perusal of the Court and stated that the petitioner is
connected with the banned terrorist organisation.

A division bench consisting of Justice Vasanti Naik and Justice Murlidhar Giratkar while rejecting the relief sought by petitioner observed that there was prima-facie enough material with authorities to initiate action against the petitioner under the Unlawful Activities Act.

Adv S G Karmarkar appeared for the petitioner. ASGI Ulhas Aurangabadkar (Union), Addl PP Anand Deshpande (State), Adv M N Phadke (BoM and BoI), Adv J P Junghare (SBI) represented the respondents.