October 18, 2019

Bombay HC Halts DRI Investigation; Grants Relief To Adani Group In Rs 29,000-Crore Coal Imports Overvaluation Case

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Bombay High Court has passed an order halting a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) probe into alleged overvaluation of Rs 29,000-crore Indonesian coal imports by the Adani Group.

The order has quashed quashed all Letters Rogatory (LR) sent by DRI to 14 countries, including Singapore and UAE, seeking information about the alleged overvaluation on coal imports.

However, the Bombay High Court made it clear that it has not gone into the merits of the LRs.

ourt made it clear that it has merely dealt with the contention as to whether it was permissible for a magistrate to issue Letters Rogatory (LRs) without following the procedure mandated under the Criminal Procedure Code.

The court ruled that the DRI had begun probing a non-cognizable offense without obtaining the necessary permission from the magistrate.

Under such circumstances, the Letters Rogatory issued do not meet the test, the court ruled.

Incidentally, the case deals with a fundamental question regarding the commission of offense punishable under the Customs Act, 1962.

It also deals with whether or not the DRI is entitled to take recourse to provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, to get a Letter Rogatory issued.

The Bombay High Court held that that the Criminal Procedure Code provision is not independent to the extent that any investigating authority can use, without filing a First Information Report.

Due to this reason, it issued an order quashing the letter rogatory issued by the DRI.

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