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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

shares in Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL)= the complainant had purchased shares in Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL) believing that the share prices would go up having regard to the figures reflected in the books of accounts but, subsequently, it was found that the records were manipulated as a result of which the share value of the shares of SCSL fell down. Crime No.2 of 2009 was registered by the CB-CID.= The petitioner in W.P. No.685 of 2013 is accused No.3, and the petitioner in W.P. No.691 of 2013 is accused No.7, in C.C. Nos.1, 2 and 3 of 2010 (hereinafter called "CBI cases") on the file of the Court of the XXI Addl. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad (hereinafter called the "XXI ACMM Court"). They have invoked the jurisdiction of this Court seeking a mandamus to declare the proceedings in the CBI cases on the file of the XXI ACMM as arbitrary, discriminatory, violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, and in violation of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). They seek a consequential direction from this Court to declare the whole proceedings in the C.B.I. cases as null and void.= THESE WRIT PETITIONS, FILED ONLY TO DELAY PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE XXI ACMM, ARE AN ABUSE OF PROCESS OF COURT: It must be noted that the application filed by the E.D. on 11.05.2011, requesting that the XXI ACMM be designated as a Special Court under the PMLA, as well as the counter-affidavit filed thereto by one of the accused on 12.10.2011 opposing such a request, were filed before the Supreme Court when the petitioners were still in judicial custody. Despite being aware that the E.D. was about to file a complaint under the PMLA, the petitioners and their counsel undertook before the Supreme Court, (as is noted in the order of the Supreme Court dated 04.11.2011), to continue to co-operative with the trial Court, and to strictly adhere to the time schedule fixed by it. Having obtained bail from the Supreme Court on an undertaking having been given on their behalf by their Counsel, despite the petitioners being aware that a compliant was about to be filed by the E.D. under the PMLA, the present Writ Petitions seeking deferment of the CBI cases (which is at an advanced stage of defence arguments) is not only an undisguised attempt to delay completion of the trial, but also an abuse of process of this Court. The jurisdiction of the High Court, under Article 226 of the Constitution, is extraordinary, equitable and discretionary. Prerogative writs mentioned therein are issued for doing substantial justice. A prerogative remedy is not a matter of course. While exercising extraordinary power a writ court would certainly bear in mind the conduct of the party who invokes the jurisdiction of the court. (K.D. Sharma v. Steel Authority of India Limited49).- I see no reason, in these circumstances, to grant the relief sought for in both the Writ Petitions. Needless to state that the XXI ACMM shall, in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court in its orders dated 26.10.2010 and 04.11.2011, ensure that the trial of the CBI cases is completed at the earliest. Both the Writ Petitions fail and are, accordingly, dismissed with exemplary costs of Rs.25,000/- (Rupees twenty five thousand only) each which shall be paid by both the petitioners, in these two Writ Petitions, to the A.P. State Legal Services Authority, Hyderabad within four weeks from today.


THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE RAMESH RANGANATHAN          

WRIT PETITION Nos.685; 691 of 2013

12-02-2013

Vadlamani Srinivas @ Srinivas

Union of India, Ministry of Finance, New Delhi and two others.

Counsel for the petitioner:  Sri B. Nalin Kumar

Counsel for respondents :  Sri PSB Suresh Kumar;
Sri T. Niranjan Reddy, Spl. Standing Counsel for CBI
Sri Ponnam Ashok Goud, Asst. Sol. General.
<GIST:

>HEAD NOTE:  

?Citations:
1)  (2004) 3 SCC 553
2) (1997) 3 SCC 261
3) (1999) 4 SCC 526
4) 1995 Supp (3) SCC 643
5) (2006) 8 SCC 161
6) (1989) 1 SCC 204
7) (2003) 3 SCC 186
8) (2002) 4 SCC 638
9) AIR 1964 SC 1419
10) 2004(5) ALD 180 (DB)
11) AIR 1987 SC 2235
12) (1989) 4 SCC 635
13) (2006) 5 SCC 716
14) AIR 1966 SC 334
15) AIR 1962 SC 1210
16) AIR 1973 SC 964
17) (1977) 4 SCC 145
18) AIR 1962 SC 1183
19) (1974) 3 SCC 220
20) (1976)1 SCC 671
21) (1977) 1 SCC 486
22) (1998) 9 SCC 412
23) (1997) 5 SCC 536
24) AIR 1978 SC 597
25) AIR 1986 SC 733
26) (1991) 1 SCC 212
27) (2011) 1 SCC 534
28) AIR 1953 SC 325
29) (2011) 1 SCC 284
30) (1988) 4 SCC 655
31) 76 L Ed 306
32) AIR 1961 SC 578
33) AIR 1958 SC 119
34) (2012) 7 SCC 621
35) AIR 1954 SC 375
36) (2011) 2 SCC 703
37) (1999) 5 SCC 253
38) (1975) 3 SCC 742
39) 77 CLR 511
40) (1965) 1 Cri.LJ 120
41) AIR 1990 SC 334
42) AIR 2001 Rajastan 51
43) (2012) 10 SCC 1
44) (1984) 2 SCC 324
45) (1972) 1 All ER 801
46) (1995) 1 SCC 259
47) (1993) 3 SCC 29
48) (2001) 2 SCC 186
49. (2008) 12 SCC 481

WRIT PETITION Nos.685 and 691 of 2013
ORDER:
        The petitioner in W.P. No.685 of 2013 is accused No.3, and the petitioner
in W.P. No.691 of 2013 is accused No.7, in C.C. Nos.1, 2 and 3 of 2010
(hereinafter called "CBI cases") on the file of the Court of the XXI Addl. Chief
Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad (hereinafter called the "XXI ACMM Court").
They have invoked the jurisdiction of this Court seeking a mandamus to declare
the proceedings in the CBI cases on the file of the XXI ACMM as arbitrary,
discriminatory, violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India,
and in violation of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,
2002 (PMLA).  They seek a consequential direction from this Court to declare the
whole proceedings in the C.B.I. cases as null and void.
        The facts, to the extent necessary for adjudication of the rival
submissions in these writ proceedings, are that a complaint was submitted to the
CB-CID on 9.1.2009 alleging that the complainant had purchased shares in Satyam
Computer Services Limited (SCSL) believing that the share prices would go up
having regard to the figures reflected in the books of accounts but,
subsequently, it was found that the records were manipulated as a result of
which the share value of the shares of SCSL fell down. Crime No.2 of 2009 was
registered by the CB-CID.  The matter was, thereafter, transferred to the
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  Along with several other accused, both
the petitioners were arrested on 5.4.2009.  While they were in judicial remand,
the CBI completed investigation and filed the three charge sheets in C.C.Nos.1,
2 and 3 of 2010 for offences under Sections 120-B, 406, 409, 419, 420, 467, 468,
471 and 477-A IPC.  The first charge sheet was filed on 7.4.2009, the second on
22.11.2009 and the third on 7.1.2010.  The CBI cases were taken on file on
26.3.2010.  In the meanwhile the Directorate of Enforcement (hereinafter called
the "ED") registered ECIR/1/W20/2009 on 23.1.2009. It initiated investigation
and, in the exercise of its powers under PMLA, passed five orders for
provisional attachment of certain properties, which orders were subsequently
confirmed by the adjudicating authority.
Both the petitioners were granted bail, in the CBI cases, by this Court in
Crl.P. Nos.6181 and 6182 of 2010 dated 20.7.2010.  On the matter being carried
in appeal by the CBI, the Supreme Court, by its order in Criminal Appeal
Nos.2068-2072 of 2010 dated 26.10.2010, cancelled the bail granted, among
others, to the petitioners herein. In its order dated 26.10.2010, the Supreme
Court noted the allegations of the CBI that the accused therein (which included
the petitioners in these two Writ Petitions) were involved in one of the
greatest corporate scams of the commercial world; it had caused a financial
storm throughout the country, and the world over; lakhs of shareholders and
others were duped; and the corporate credibility of the nation had received a
serious set back. The Supreme Court, however, refrained from making detailed
observations regarding the conduct of the accused as the trial was still
pending, and should not be prejudiced in any manner.  While observing that it
would be slow in cancelling the bail already granted by the High Court, the
Supreme Court, in the extra-ordinary circumstances of the case, was of the
considered view that the order passed by the High Court granting bail to the
accused could not be sustained in law and, accordingly, set aside the order.
The accused (including the petitioners herein) were directed to surrender on or
before 10.11.2010.
As the dispute in these writ proceedings revolves around the consequences of the
directions of the Supreme Court, in its order dated 26.10.2010, the said order
is extracted hereunder:
"........We are informed that charges have been framed on 25th October, 2010 and
trial is scheduled to commence with effect from 2nd November, 2010. In these
circumstances, we deem it appropriate to direct the Trial Court to take up the
case on day-to-day basis and conclude the trial of this case as expeditiously as
possible, in any event, on or before 31st July, 2011.
The Trial Court would avoid granting any undue adjournments, unless it becomes
absolutely imperative.
The Trial Court is directed to decide the case without being influenced by any
observations made by the High Court or by this Court in this order.
The parties are directed to examine only material and most essential witnesses
and fully cooperate with the Trial Court.
The accused shall be produced before the Trial Court on time, on every date of
hearing, unless exempted by the orders of the Court.
The High Court of Andhra Pradesh is requested not to transfer the notified
judicial officer until the trial is concluded.
In case, the trial is not concluded for any reason before 31st July, 2011, the
respondents would be at liberty to approach the Trial Court for grant of bail.
We have no doubt that the concerned Court would decide the bail application, if
filed, expeditiously in accordance with law.
With these observations and directions these appeals are disposed of."

        The trial in the CBI cases commenced and the examination in chief of 211
witnesses, (except the investigating officers), was completed during the period
8.11.2010 to 29.4.2011.  Cross-examination of these 211 witnesses, by the
defence counsel, was completed during the period 8.11.2010 to 2.5.2011.
Thereafter 15 investigating officers were examined by the prosecution during the
period 11.7.2011 to 29.7.2011.
        In the meanwhile, the ED filed an application on 11.5.2011 requesting the
Supreme Court to permit the Central Government, at the request of the ED, to
approach the High Court of A.P, and request it to designate the learned XXI
ACMM, who is of the rank of Additional Sessions Judge, to exercise jurisdiction
as such within the meaning of Section 9(3) of Cr.P.C; and thereafter notify, in
consultation with the Hon'ble Chief Justice of the A.P. High Court, the same as
a "Court of Sessions" to be a "Special Court" within the meaning of Section
43(1) of PMLA for the purpose of conducting the trial arising out of the
proposed complaint which would be filed within 15 days of passing of the orders
or such other time as may be directed by the Supreme Court; and to pass orders
that, notwithstanding such a designation as prayed for, the trial underway at
the instance of the CBI shall continue uninterrupted in conformity with the
orders of the Supreme Court dated 26.10.2010, and shall be completed on or
before 31.7.2011 as directed by this Court.  The ED prayed for an order wherein,
upon the disposal/conclusion of the charge arising by the CBI charge-sheet, it
would be open to the learned XXI ACMM, in the capacity of Special Court notified
under Section 43(1) of PMLA, to take cognizance and proceed to hear and complete
the trial of the complaint proposed to be filed by the ED.  A counter affidavit
was filed thereto (by one of the accused in the C.B.I. cases) on 12.10.2011
seeking dismissal of the said application contending that the High Court had no
power to designate the XXI ACMM as a Special Court under PMLA; and the XXI ACMM,  
being inferior to the Special Sessions Judge, could not be notified as a Special
Court under the provisions of PMLA.
As the trial in the CBI cases did not conclude by 31st July, 2011 the accused in
the CBI cases, including the petitioners herein, again applied for bail.  Their
bail applications were dismissed both by the trial court and this Court.
Against the orders passed by this Court, refusing to grant bail, the accused in
the CBI cases, including the petitioners herein, approached the Supreme Court.
        The petitioner in W.P. No.685 of 2013 filed Criminal Appeal No.2013 of
2011 against the order of this Court in Criminal Petition No.7458 of 2011 dated
30.8.2011. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court on 4.11.2011, on his giving
an undertaking that he would not examine any of the given up prosecution
witnesses as defence witnesses, in the trial pending before the Court of the XXI
ACMM, in the CBI cases.  The order of the Supreme Court dated 4.11.2011 has also
been referred to extensively by counsel on either side.  It is necessary,
therefore, to extract the said order:
        "4.            ......the accused appellants have already undergone actual
sentence of two years and eight months.
        5.      In pursuance to the directions of this Court, the appellants have
filed affidavits before this Court stating therein that they would not examine
the witnesses given up by the prosecution. Learned counsel appearing for the
parties submitted that the parties have cooperated with the Trial Court and they
would continue to do so. They have further undertaken to strictly adhere to the
time schedule fixed by the Trial Court.
        6.      We once again request the Trial Court to ensure that the trial of
these cases is completed as expeditiously as possible.
        7.      We have carefully considered totality of the facts and circumstances
of these cases. The accused-appellants have already undergone actual sentence of
two years and eight months. In this view of the matter, we deem it appropriate
to release the accused-appellants on bail on their furnishing personal bonds for
Rs.2.00 lakhs each with two solvent sureties each in the like amount, to the
satisfaction of the Trial Court subject to the following conditions:
(i) The accused-appellants shall deposit their passports before the Trial Court
if not already seized or deposited.
(ii) The accused-appellants shall not influence the trial either directly or
indirectly and further investigation in any manner.
(iii) In case the indulgence granted by this Court is abused by the accused-
appellants, the prosecution would be at liberty to approach this Court for
cancellation of the bail granted to them.
8.     With the aforementioned observations and directions, these appeals and
the criminal miscellaneous petitions are disposed of."

        The investigation officers, who were examined earlier in the CBI cases,
were cross-examined by the defence counsel during the period 19.7.2011 to
11.5.2012.  Examination of prosecution witnesses was completed on 11.5.2012.
The first accused recalled three witnesses during the period 19.6.2012 to
4.7.2012.  Thereafter, the accused were examined under Section 313 Cr.P.C. by
the XXI ACMM during the period 13.7.2012 to 30.7.2012.  Section 313 Cr.P.C.
questionnaire was given to them, which was answered by the accused during the
period 4.9.2012 to 24.9.2012.  Several witnesses were examined on behalf of the
defence.  Thereafter, written defence statements were filed during the period
25.9.2012 to 3.10.2012.  In the course of trial of the CBI cases, the CBI
examined 226 witnesses and marked 3137 exhibits. The defence filed about 75
exhibits and examined several witnesses. The oral evidence and documents filed
by the CBI is said to run into voluminous pages.
        In its order dated 10.12.2012, passed on the above referred application of
the ED, the Supreme Court noted the contents of the application, the counter
affidavit filed by the respondent, as also the apprehension expressed by the
Learned Additional Solicitor General, appearing on behalf of  the applicant -
ED, that the order passed on 26.10.2010 may give an impression that only the
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, who was trying the offences against
the respondent, could hear and decide the matters also under PMLA.  The Supreme
Court clarified that the orders passed by it, on 26.10.2010 in Criminal Appeal
Nos.2068-2072 of 2010, would not stand in the way of the High Court taking up
the petition of the ED for designating a competent Court for passing appropriate
orders under PMLA, keeping in mind the provisions of the relevant law.  The
Supreme Court made it clear that it had not expressed any opinion in the order
as to which was the Court that was to hear the proceedings under PMLA, and that
the High Court may consider the issue in accordance with law.
The case of the petitioners, in short, is that in view of categorical statement
made by the ED before the Supreme Court, that they were contemplating to file a
criminal complaint to prosecute the accused for committing the offence of money
laundering as defined under Section 3 and punishable under Section 4 in the
Special Court notified under Section 43 (1) of PMLA, continuance of the CBI
cases on the file of XXI ACMM would be illegal, without jurisdiction and
contrary to the provisions of PMLA;  a special Court is designated under Section
43(1) and 44 of PMLA, which would have jurisdiction to try such offences to the
exclusion of the normal courts of jurisdiction; any further continuance of
proceedings in the CBI cases, and compelling the accused to advance their
arguments, would result in disclosure of their defence which would give the ED
an opportunity to fill up the defects and lacunae in the prosecution, causing
prejudice to the accused; this would be in violation of Article 21 of the
Constitution of India; the procedure adopted by the ED and the CBI, in filing
one prosecution after another, is arbitrary, discriminatory, and unreasonable;
having regard to the stand taken by the ED before the Supreme Court, in Crl.M.P.
No.11277-11281/2011 in Crl.A. Nos.2068-2072/2010, there was no warrant for
proceeding further in the CBI cases; it would be an abuse of process of Court to
permit continuance of the proceedings in the CBI cases; and it would result in
miscarriage of justice.
In the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the 3rd respondent - CBI, it is
stated that any stay of proceedings in the CBI cases before the XXI ACMM would
be in disregard to the directions, with respect to the trial, contained in the
order of the Supreme Court dated 26.10.2010; pursuant to the said directions,
the trial in the CBI cases is at an advanced stage, and only defence arguments
are required to be advanced; the present writ petition has been filed solely to
delay conclusion of the trial and frustrate the course of law; it is the
admitted position that no complaint has been filed till date by the ED before
the Special Court under Section 45 of PMLA; on mere apprehension that such a
complaint may be filed, and on the further erroneous basis that if such a
complaint is filed only the Special Court would have jurisdiction to try the CBI
cases, the present Writ Petitions have been filed; the offence under Section 3
of PMLA is separate and distinct from the offences under Sections 120-B IPC read
with Sections 420, 419, 467, 468, 471, 477-A, 201 and 409 of IPC with which the
accused have been charged in the CBI cases; the contention that, if the
petitioner is required to put forward its defence at this stage, there is every
likelihood of the E.D. filling up the gaps in the subsequent trial in incorrect;
resultantly, no question of prejudice can arise either to the accused or to the
prosecution if the trial in the CBI cases is continued and concluded; the
Special Court under PMLA will not have jurisdiction to try offences which are
the subject matter of trial in the CBI cases; the Writ Petition as filed is
speculative and premature; it is incorrect to state that, even according to the
E.D, the cases, which are now being tried by the XXI ACMM, must be transferred
to the Special Court whenever designated;  the prayer of the ED before the
Supreme Court shows that the trial, in the offence of money laundering under
PMLA may be taken up by the same Court after conclusion of the CBI trial; the
E.D. did not take the stand that the CBI cases should be transferred to the
Special Court whenever designated; it is only speculative to state that if the
CBI cases are decided, even before a Special Court is designated under the PMLA,
prejudice may be caused to the petitioner; the Special Court, designated under
the PMLA, does not have exclusive jurisdiction to try all scheduled offences,
besides the offence under Section 3 of the Act; the offence of money laundering
is a distinct and separate offence from the scheduled offences defined in
Section 2(1)(y) of the Act; the process or activity connected with the proceeds
of a crime, and projecting it as untainted property, is the offence of money
laundering, and is punishable under Section 4; the offences, which the
petitioners and other accused are charged, are under the IPC which are not
scheduled offences; the offence of money laundering is a distinct offence which
may also involve altogether different accused; and Section 44 of PMLA relates
only to the territorial jurisdiction of the Special Court, and does not confer
jurisdiction on such Court to try all scheduled offences.
        In its counter-affidavit, the 2nd respondent-ED would submit that the
present writ petition is filed only to further delay the process of filing of
the complaint by them; investigation by the ED has reached the final stages;
they were on the verge of concluding investigation; they have already attached
355 properties valued at Rs.1075 crores; assets worth Rs.822 crores were
attached recently during the month of October, 2012; the ED had approached the
Supreme Court, by way of its application dated 11.5.2011, requesting that the
XXI ACMM be designated as a Court of Session to be a "Special Court" within the
meaning of Section 43(1) of the PMLA; in view of the earlier order of the
Supreme Court  dated 26.10.2010, wherein certain observations were made while
cancelling bail to the accused, any complaint filed under PMLA by the ED in the
already designated 'Special Court' would have resulted in transfer of the trial
of scheduled offence to the Special Court under PMLA, which would have been
contrary to the directions of the Supreme Court; it would have also disrupted
the trial of the scheduled offences in the CBI cases which is already at an
advanced stage; the application filed by the ED on 11.05.2011 was disposed of by
the Supreme Court on 10.12.2012; during this period the complaint, for the
offence of money laundering, could not have been filed; now that the matter has
been disposed of, the Central Government has addressed a letter to the
Registrar-General of the High Court with regards designation of XXI ACMM as a
Special Court in terms of Section 43(1) of PMLA, and the matter stands at that
stage; once the XXI ACMM court is so designated, the complaint for the offence
of money laundering (Section 3 of PMLA) would be filed under Section 45; the
prayer of the ED, before the Supreme Court, clearly reflected that the trial for
the offence of money laundering under PMLA may be taken up by the same Court;
the petitioner's contentions that their defence would be known to the ED; any
lacunae in such defence would be addressed by them in their complaint; and this
would cause prejudice to their interests, apart from being violative of Article
21 of the Constitution of India; are not tenable; the defence of the petitioner
before the XXI ACMM Court would be relevant only for the offences charged in the
CBI cases; the offence of money laundering, under Section 3 of PMLA, is distinct
from the scheduled offences, as the evidence to be adduced in the complaint
would be specific to the offence of money laundering; they have passed five
orders of provisional attachment of properties after initiation of investigation
and registration of ECIR No.01/HZO/2009; in its order, in Crl.M.P. No.11277 -
11281 in Crl.Appeal No.2068 - 2072/2010 on 11.05.2011, the Supreme Court has not
expressed any view as to which Court should hear proceedings under PMLA, and has
left it to the High Court to consider the issue in accordance with law; the
Joint Secretary (Revenue), Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi,
vide letter dated 21.12.2012, requested the High Court to designate the XXI ACMM
Court as a Special Court for conducting trial of the complaint under PMLA; as
the issue of designating the XXI ACMM Court as a designated Court is pending,
the present Writ Petition is not maintainable; the speculative litigation
indulged in by the petitioners should not be entertained; the ED would file the
complaint under PMLA, after receiving appropriate directions from this Court in
response to their letters dated 21.12.2012, 09.01.2013 and 10.01.2013 addressed
by the Joint Secretary (Revenue), Ministry of Finance, New Delhi to the
Registrar - General of the High Court; the speculative grounds urged by the
petitioner, projecting that the complaint would be filed before the Special
Court and the same would contravene the procedure contemplated in the PMLA, are
imaginary and baseless; and the Writ Petition is misconceived, premature and
vexatious in nature.
        In the affidavit filed in reply to the counter affidavits of both
respondents 2 and 3, it is stated that the CBI was twisting facts to proceed
with the trial in the CBI cases; ED had taken a specific stand before the
Supreme Court, in Crl.M.P. No.11277 - 11281 in Crl.Appeal No.2068 - 2072/2010,
that, on conclusion of the investigation conducted by it, it is now ready to
file a criminal complaint to prosecute the accused, including the petitioners,
for committing the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 and
punishable under Section 4, in the Special Court notified under Section 43(1) of
PMLA; the petitioners are only seeking to protect their legal rights, and are
not desirous of unnecessarily postponing trial in the criminal cases; having
regard to the stand taken by the ED before the Supreme Court, that it is now
contemplating to file a complaint within fifteen days of passing orders in the
matter of designation of the XXI ACMM Court as a Special Court under PMLA, the
present Writ Petition came to be filed; it is incorrect to state that as the CBI
cases have reached the stage of defence arguments, the petitioners were
disentitled from filing these Writ Petitions; the stand of the ED is clear that,
on filing a complaint, the trial in the present CBI cases will have to be
transferred to the PMLA Court, and be tried along with the complaint filed by
the ED; the contention that the offence under Section 3 of PMLA is separate and
distinct from the offences under IPC is not valid in view of the specific
provisions contained in Section 43(2) of PMLA; the filing of a complaint by the
ED is imminent; the petition filed by them before the Supreme Court goes to show
that they are ready to file the complaint; in its counter-affidavit the ED has
admitted that they are ready to file the complaint before the Special Court; the
contention of the CBI that the Special Court would not have  jurisdiction to try
the offences, which are the subject matter of the CBI cases, would run counter
to the stand of the ED; the orders of the Supreme Court dated 26.10.2010
required trial to conclude on or before 31.07.2011, which has not concluded so
far; the Supreme Court subsequently passed an order dated 04.11.2011 under which
bail was granted to the petitioner; this apart, the ED filed Crl.M.P. No.11277 -
11281 of 2011 which introduced an altogether a new dimension to the case on
hand; this apart the Supreme Court, in its order dated 10.12.2012, left it open
to the ED to approach this Court; thus the whole issue is open and at large;
having regard to the subsequent developments, the petitioners are constrained to
file the Writ Petition; any order passed in the Writ Petitions granting them
relief would not be in disregard of the order of the Supreme Court dated
26.10.2010; the Writ Petitions have not been filed to delay and frustrate
conclusion of the trial in the CBI cases;  the contention, that the offences of
which the petitioners are charged in the CBI cases are distinct and separate
from the offence under Section 3 of PMLA, is incorrect having regard to the
provisions of PMLA; the contention that no prejudice can be caused to the
petitioner is misconceived; the CBI cases and the PMLA compliant to be filed by
the ED must co-exist; disclosing of the defence in the CBI cases would cause
prejudice to the rights of the petitioner herein as the ED would then have every
opportunity to fill up the lacunae in the complaint to be filed under PMLA; this
would be fatal to the petitioner as the Special Court constituted under PMLA
would also try the schedule offences at the same trial; the offence may be
different, but the factual position is interlinked; it cannot be said that the
offence under PMLA is a distinct offence; while the CBI and the ED may be
complacent about their case, they cannot undermine the serious lapses fatal to
the prosecution in the CBI cases which,  if brought out in the defence
arguments, would prejudice the petitioner in the complaint which the ED claims
is ready for filing; the averment in the counter-affidavit of the ED that they
were on the verge of concluding investigation is contrary to their assertion, in
Crl.M.P. No.11277 - 11281 of 2011, that, on conclusion of investigation, it is
now contemplating to file a criminal complaint under Section 4 of PMLA; their
averment regarding attachment or properties lends credence to the fact that the
ED would file the complaint; the present Writ Petition is not premature as the
trial in the CBI cases are, presently, at the stage of defence arguments; since
the trial contemplated under PMLA  and Cr.P.C. must happen together on a
complaint being filed by the ED, divulging the defence arguments before the
prosecution case is closed before the Special Court under PMLA, would cause
grave prejudice to the accused; the averments in the counter-affidavit of the ED
shows that they are planning to file a complaint to be heard in the same trial,
along with the trial in the CBI cases, as contemplated under PMLA; from the
counter-affidavit of ED, it is clear that a complaint being filed by them under
PMLA would result in transfer of the trial of the scheduled offences to the
Special Court under PMLA; this strengthens the case of the petitioner that trial
in the CBI cases is arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of Articles 14 and
21 of the Constitution of India and PMLA; offences in the CBI cases can be tried
only by the Special Court, and not by the XXI ACMM; the assumption of the ED
that the trial, of the complaint to be filed by them, can be taken up after
disposal of the CBI cases, is erroneous since the offence under Section 3 of
PMLA and the scheduled offences must sbe taken up in the same trial;  the basis
of the offence of money laundering is the presumption regarding proceeds of a
crime which can only be proved by the scheduled offences for which the defence
arguments in the CBI cases will be crucial; this apart, the fact that the
subject matter of investigation by the CBI and the ED involve alleged gains made
by the accused, and alleged laundering of the said gains by purchase of
properties, would be common in both the CBI cases and the complaint to be filed
by the ED, as that is the basis on which the properties of the accused have been
attached by the ED; there is certainty of the ED filing the complaint in the
Special Court, in view of its letters addressed to the High Court on 09.01.2013
and 10.01.2013; the ED's contention that the High Court would make the XXI ACMM
Court as a Special Court under PMLA is a matter of speculation; as there is a
designated Sessions Court under PMLA that, by itself, entitles the petitioner
for a stay of proceedings in the CBI cases as prejudice would be caused to the
petitioners if their defence arguments are heard; even if the XXI ACMM Court is
designated as a Special Court under PMLA, it is still a fit case to stay the
proceedings in the CBI cases as prejudice would be caused to the petitioners if
the defence arguments are heard.
        After the prosecution advanced final arguments, the matter was posted to
10.1.2013 for arguments of the defence.  Both these Writ Petitions were filed on
7.1.2013 and this Court by its order dated 10.1.2013, while ordering notice
before admission and directing that the cases be listed on 24.1.2013, granted
interim stay of further proceedings in the CBI cases for a period of four weeks.
When the cases came up on 24.1.2013 both the standing counsel for the CBI, and
the standing counsel for the ED, expressed urgency and requested that the matter
be taken up at the earliest.  However, at the request of the petitioner's
counsel, both the Writ Petitions were directed to be listed on 31.01.2013 on
which date the CBI filed its counter affidavit.  As the counsel for the
petitioners sought time to file a reply thereto, the Writ Petitions were
directed to be listed on 6.2.2013.  At the request of counsel on either side,
that the Writ Petitions could be finally disposed of at the stage of admission,
the matter was heard in detail on 6th, 7th and 8th February, 2013.
Elaborate arguments were advanced by Sri D. Prakash Reddy, Learned Senior
Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners and Sri T. Niranjan Reddy,
Learned Standing Counsel for the CBI.  Sri Gopalakrishna Gokhale, Learned
Counsel for the ED, made brief submissions.  Written submissions were invited by
this Court, and were filed by the counsel for the petitioners, and the Standing
counsel for both the CBI and the ED, on 8.2.2013.
The rival submissions of Counsel on either side can, conveniently, be examined
under different sub-heads.


I. ARE THESE WRIT PETITIONS MAINTAINABLE?      
Sri T. Niranjan Reddy, Learned Standing Counsel for the CBI, would submit that
in view of the directions of the Supreme Court in its orders dated 26.10.2010
and 04.11.2011, and the undertaking given by the petitioners and their counsel
to the Supreme Court, the remedy which the petitioners may have is only to
approach the Supreme Court, and the Writ Petitions as filed are not
maintainable. While entertaining an objection as to the maintainability of a
writ petition, the Court should bear in mind that the power to issue prerogative
writs under Article 226 of the Constitution is plenary in nature, and is not
limited by any other provisions of the Constitution. (ABL International Ltd v.
Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd1).  The power of judicial
review, vested in the High Courts under Article 226, is an integral and
essential feature of the Constitution, constituting a part of its basic
structure.  (L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India2).  Article 226 of the
Constitution is couched in the widest possible terms. The power of the High
Court thereunder can be exercised when any action is against any provision of
law. (K. Venkatachalam v. A. Swamickan3).  There are no unreviewable discretions
under the constitutional dispensation. The overall constitutional function, to
ensure that constitutional/statutory authorities function within the sphere of
their respective constitutional/statutory authority, is that of the Courts,
including the High Court.  (Election Commission of India v. Union of India4).
The function of determining whether the act of a statutory functionary falls
within the legislative conferment of power is a matter for the Court.  (Epuru
Sudhakar v. Govt. of A.P.5; Kehar Singh v. Union of India6). If exercise of the
power of Judicial review under Article 226 cannot be barred even by a
Constitutional provision, as it forms part of the basic structure of the
Constitution, it does not stand to reason that the power of judicial review can
be barred by Legislation - plenary or subordinate.   It would, therefore, be
difficult to hold that this Court, in the exercise of its jurisdiction under
Article 226 of the Constitution of India, should not even entertain a Writ
Petition of this nature or that the Writ Petitions as filed are not
maintainable.
II. EXERCISE OF JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226 IS DISCRETIONARY:        

While the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the Writ Petitions cannot be,
and is not, barred, it is nonetheless a matter in the discretion of this Court,
while exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to
grant or refuse the relief sought for.  In this context it is necessary to bear
in mind that unlike the jurisdiction conferred upon a statutory tribunal, which
must be construed in terms of the Statute under which it was created, the power
of judicial review of the High Court is of wide amplitude. It is subject to
certain restrictions which the High Court imposes on itself as a measure of
self-discipline. The scope of judicial review may vary from case to case
depending upon the nature of the matter, as also the statute to be dealt with by
the Court. (Cellular Operators Assn. of India v. Union of India7).  While the
discretionary powers of the High Courts under Article 226 cannot be fettered,
such powers must be exercised along recognised lines, and is subject to certain
self-imposed limitations. The expression "for any other purpose" in Article 226
makes the jurisdiction of the High Courts more extensive, but yet its exercise
is with certain restraints and within certain parameters.  The High Court,
having regard to the facts of the case, has a discretion to entertain or not to
entertain a writ petition, and has imposed upon itself certain restrictions in
the exercise of this power. (ABL International Ltd.1; Director of Settlements,
A.P. v. M.R. Apparao8).
As the exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 is discretionary, it is not to
be exercised merely because it is lawful to do so. The very amplitude of the
jurisdiction demands that it will, ordinarily, be exercised subject to certain
self-imposed limitations, (Thansingh Nathmal v. Supdt. of Taxes9), and is not to
be issued as a matter of course.  A writ of mandamus is not a writ of course or
a writ of right but is, as a rule, discretionary. (C.R. Reddy Law College
Employees' Association, Eluru, W.G. District v. Bar Council of India, New
Delhi10). Even if a legal flaw might be electronically detected, this Court
would not interfere save manifest injustice or unless a substantial question of
public importance is involved.  (Rashpal Malhotra v. Mrs. Saya Rajput11; Council
of Scientific and Industrial Research v. K.G.S. Bhatt12).
III. RIVAL SUBMISSIONS ON WHETHER OR NOT PROCEEDINGS IN THE CBI CASES SHOULD BE                
DEFERRED:  
Before examining the submissions of Sri T. Niranjan Reddy, Learned Standing
Counsel for the CBI, that this Court should not exercise discretion to grant the
relief sought for in these Writ Petitions, it is convenient to examine, in the
first instance, the submissions of Sri D. Prakash Reddy, Learned Senior Counsel
appearing on behalf of the petitioners.  Learned Senior Counsel would submit
that continuance of the CBI cases, on the file of the XXI ACMM, was illegal as
the ED had stated, in Crl.M.P. Nos. 11277 and 11281 of 2011 in CrI.M.P. No.2068-
2072/2010 filed before the Supreme Court, that, on conclusion of its
investigation, it is now contemplating filing a criminal complaint for the
offences under Section 4 of PMLA.  Learned Senior Counsel would submit that
several grounds were raised in the Writ Petitions including that PMLA is a
special enactment which deals with the offence of money laundering; the offence
of money laundering is triable only by a Special Court constituted under Section
43 of PMLA; while trying the offence of money laundering, the Special Court
alone would have jurisdiction to try the scheduled offences, and also any other
offence with which an accused may be charged under Cr.P.C. [Section 43 (2) and
44 (1)a of the Act]; and the stand of the ED before the Supreme Court in the
Crl.M.Ps is also that, since PMLA contemplates that the offence under Section 4
of the Act and the scheduled offences shall be tried by the Special Court, a
separate trial for the scheduled offence in other courts and a separate trial of
offences under PMLA before the Special Court may contravene the procedure
established by law violating Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
        Learned Senior Counsel would, however, restrict his submissions
before this Court to the validity of continuance of proceedings in the CBI cases
before the XXI ACMM, contending that they were at the stage of defence
arguments; and, if the defence arguments were advanced including pointing out
the contradictions and omissions in the prosecution's case, it would enable the
ED to fill up such gaps while filing its complaint, and in the consequent trial,
before the designated Special Court under PMLA; the records, in the present
case, are voluminous; a bulk of it contains electronic data and copies thereof;
from out of 3137 documents, the admissibility of nearly half the documents are
under dispute; these documents were marked subject to the objections on their
admissibility being decided at the time of final judgment; there were several
technical aspects relating to electronic data, and copies thereof, which would
be pointed out during the course of defence arguments; if these were exposed,
even before the complaint was filed by the E.D before the Special Court, it
would give them ample opportunity to fill and cover  up the gaps in the
complaint, and in the consequent trial; this would not only be contrary to fair
procedure, but would also be arbitrary and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of
the Constitution of India; and would cause grave prejudice to the petitioners.
        On the other hand, Sri T. Niranjan Reddy, Learned Standing Counsel for
C.B.I, would submit that the trial has been conducted as per the procedure
prescribed to try warrant cases on a police report; under Section 243 Cr.P.C,
the accused has the right to produce defence witnesses, and to file defence
statements; the petitioners have already divulged their defence in their Section
313 Cr.P.C. examination; even under Section 242 Cr.P.C, they have divulged their
defence by producing several defence witnesses before the trial Court; the
petitioners have already filed their defence statements after the Section 313
Cr.P.C. examination; once the procedure contemplated under Section 242 Cr.P.C.
is completed, wherein the accused have already divulged their defence, there can
be no further disclosure of their defence by the accused; and the petitioners'
contention that the arguments to be made by them, under Section 314 Cr.P.C,
would result in disclosure of their defence is baseless, and contrary to the
provisions of Cr.P.C, as the accused have already divulged their defence before
and during the Section 313 CrPC examination.  Learned counsel would rely on
State of Karnataka v. Annegowda13 in this regard.  According to the Learned
Counsel, the petitioners cannot contend that they have not so far disclosed
their defence and, while submitting their arguments, they may have to disclose
their defence, thereby causing the accused prejudice; the petitioners have
already divulged their defence under the provisions of Cr.P.C, and nothing is
left for them to further disclose; and the loopholes, pitfalls, omissions and
contradictions, if any, in the CBI cases are already part of the record.
                The submissions made before this Court, by the learned counsel who
appeared on behalf of the ED, were, to put it mildly, garbled and incoherent.
The only aspect which this Court understood from his submissions is that the
E.D. was also supporting the stand of the C.B.I. that the trial in the CBI cases
should proceed, and not be stalled.  In the written submissions filed on behalf
of the ED, it is contended that the E.D. has concluded its investigations, and
is ready to file a complaint under Section 45 of PMLA; an I.A was filed by them
before the Supreme Court on 11.5.2011, in Crl.A. No.2068- 2072/2010, stating
that on conclusion of its investigations the E.D. was contemplating filing a
criminal complaint under Section 45 of PMLA to prosecute the accused for
committing the offence of money laundering;  the said I.A. was filed in view of
the order of the Supreme Court, in Crl.A. No.2068-2072/2010 dated 26.10.2010,
directing the trial court to take up the case on a day to day basis, and
conclude the trial expeditiously before 31.7.2011, and in requesting the High
Court of Andhra Pradesh not to transfer the notified judicial officer of the XXI
ACMM Court until the trial was concluded; any complaint filed by the E.D, in the
already designated 'Special Court' under PMLA, would have resulted in transfer
of the trial of the scheduled offences to the Special Court under PMLA, in view
of the provisions contained under Section 44 of the PMLA; this would have been
contrary to the directions of the Supreme Court; and it would have also
disrupted the trial of the scheduled offences which is already at an advanced
stage.
IV: WRIT OF MANDAMUS: ITS SCOPE:    
        As noted hereinabove, the petitioners seek a mandamus from this Court to
declare the proceedings in the CBI cases, on the file of the XXI ACMM Court, as
arbitrary, discriminatory, violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution
of India, and in violation of PMLA. "Mandamus" means a command. It differs from
the writs of prohibition or certiorari in its demand for some activity on the
part of the body or person to whom it is addressed. Mandamus is a command issued
to direct any person, corporation, inferior courts or Government, requiring him
or them to do some particular thing therein specified which appertains to his or
their office and is in the nature of a public duty. A mandamus would lie to any
person who is under a duty imposed by a statute or by the common law to do a
particular act.  (M.R. Appa Rao8). The chief function of a writ of mandamus is
to compel performance of the public duties prescribed by a statute and to keep
subordinate Courts/tribunals, and officers exercising public functions, within
the limits of their jurisdiction. (Lekhraj Satramdas Lalvani v. N.M. Shah,
Deputy Custodian-cum-Managing Officer14; Rai Shivendra Bahadur (Dr) v. Nalanda
College15 and Umakant Saran Dr v. State of Bihar16; Bihar Eastern Gangetic
Fishermen Coop. Society Ltd. v. Sipahi Singh17).
One of the conditions for exercising power under Article 226, for issuance of a
mandamus, is that the Court must come to the conclusion that the aggrieved
person has a legal right, and that such a right has been infringed. The
applicant has to satisfy the Court that he has a legal right to the performance
of a legal duty by the party against whom the mandamus is sought. The duty that
may be enjoined by a mandamus may be one imposed by the Constitution, a statute,
common law or by rules or orders having the force of law.  (M.R. Apparao8;
Kalyan Singh v. State of U.P.18).  No one can seek a mandamus without a legal
right. There must be a judicially enforceable right as well as a legally
protected right before one, suffering a legal grievance, can ask for a mandamus.
A person can be said to be aggrieved only when he is denied a legal right by
someone who has a legal duty to do something or to abstain from doing something.
(Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th Edn., Vol. I, para 122; State of Haryana v.
Subash Chander Marwah19; Jasbhai Motibhai Desai v. Roshan Kumar Haji Bashir  
Ahmed20; Ferris: Extraordinary Legal Remedies, para 198; and Mani Subrat Jain v.
State of Haryana21). In order that mandamus may issue to compel an authority to
do something, it must be shown that the statute imposes a legal duty on that
authority, and the aggrieved party has a legal right under the statute to
enforce its performance. (Subash Chander Marwaha19; Dr Rai Shivendra Bahadur v.
Governing Body of the Nalanda College15). If there is no statutory basis for the
claim, and there is no provision in the statute imposing an obligation, it would
not furnish a ground for issuance of a writ of mandamus. (Union of India v. E.
Merck (India22).
V. CAN A MANDAMUS BE ISSUED TO THE XXI ACMM COURT TO DEFER PROCEEDINGS IN THE                  
CBI CASES?

        Let us now examine whether there is any constitutional or statutory
violation requiring this Court to exercise its discretion to issue a mandamus to
the XXI ACMM Court to defer proceedings in the CBI cases, or to declare
continuance of such proceedings as null and void.  It is not even the
petitioners' case that any provision of the Cr.P.C. has been violated by the XXI
ACMM while conducting trial in the CBI cases.  Their grievance is that, if they
are called upon to put forth their defence arguments during which they would be
required to point out the pitfalls and loopholes in the prosecution's case, it
would enable the E.D. to fill up such gaps while filing their complaint before
the Special Court under the PMLA.  As noted hereinabove, not only has the CBI
already examined 226 witnesses and 15 investigating officers, these witnesses
were elaborately cross-examined by the defence.  Around 75 exhibits were marked,
and several witnesses were examined, on behalf of the defence.  Examination of
the accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C is also complete, and the accused are also
said to have filed their defence statements thereafter.
While Sri T. Niranjan Reddy, Learned Standing Counsel for CBI, would assert that
the petitioners had also filed their defence statements, Sri D. Prakash Reddy,
Learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners, initially
disputed this assertion.  However, when Sri T. Niranjan Reddy requested this
Court to summon the records from the trial Court to verify his assertion, Sri D.
Prakash Reddy, Learned Senior Counsel, fairly agreed that the fact, whether or
not the petitioners had also filed their defence statements, was irrelevant as
the submissions made before this Court on their behalf related only to their
Counsel putting forth defence arguments which may result in the E.D. taking
undue advantage thereby to fill up the pitfalls and loopholes in the
prosecution's case as pointed out by the defence counsel while presenting their
arguments in the CBI cases.  Section 242 Cr.P.C. relates to the evidence of the
prosecution.  In the present case the evidence of the prosecution is complete,
and all the prosecution witnesses have already been elaborately cross-examined
by the defence.  Section 243 relates to the evidence for the defence.  Several
defence witnesses have already been examined, and 75 documents have been marked  
as exhibits on behalf of the defence.  All the accused, including the
petitioners herein, have also been examined under Section 313 Cr.P.C.  They are
also said to have filed their defence statements before the XXI ACMM under
Section 243(1) Cr.P.C.  The submission of Sri T. Niranjan Reddy that the
evidence of the defence has already been disclosed cannot, therefore, be said to
be without merit.
VI: HAS ANY STATUTORY PROVISION BEEN VIOLATED BY THE XXI ACMM IN NOT              
DEFERRING/POSTPONING THE DEFENCE ARGUMENTS IN THE CBI CASES?                

Even otherwise, no provision in the Cr.P.C. which confers power on the XXI ACMM
to defer/postpone defence arguments, either for a limited duration or
indefinitely, has been brought to the notice of this Court.  In this context it
is useful to note that, in Annegowda13, the Supreme Court held : -
".......... There is no provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure which
enables the court to postpone the examination of the accused under Section 313
CrPC till the completion of the trial in other cases. Merely because certain
other charge-sheets have been filed against the same accused for similar
offences cannot be a ground to postpone the examination of the accused under
Section 313 CrPC. The apprehension of the accused-respondent that if his
statement is recorded under Section 313 CrPC he would be required to divulge his
defence and in that event he would be prejudiced in the trial of other cases
filed against him is without any basis and foundation. It may be taken note of
that as many as 25 witnesses have already been examined and the witnesses have
already been cross-examined by the advocate for the accused. It is reasonable to
infer that during the course of his cross-examination the accused-respondent
must have disclosed his defence. The statement on behalf of the accused that he
is required to divulge his defence only during his examination under Section 313
CrPC cannot be accepted. The charges in other cases against the accused may be
under the same provisions of the Penal Code and may also be similar, but
documentary or oral evidence may be different which ultimately has to be
appreciated and evaluated by the court separately in each case. It can be taken
judicial note of and kept in mind that completion of trial in other ten charge-
sheets may take some more time. The High Court has materially erred in coming to
the conclusion that under the provisions of Section 242 CrPC recording of
statement of the accused-respondent under Section 313 could be deferred till the
trial in other cases involving similar transactions against the accused is
completed.........." (emphasis supplied)

        Unlike in Anne Gowda13 where the postponement sought was of the
examination of the accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C, in the present case even
that stage has already been crossed; the defence statements, under Section
243(1) Cr.P.C, were filed thereafter; and the prosecution has completed its
arguments.  It is only for the defence arguments that the matter is pending
before the XXI ACMM who is required only to pronounce judgment, in the CBI
cases, thereafter.  It is not even the case of the petitioners, in the Writ
Petitions filed before this Court, that any provision of the Cr.P.C. has been
violated by the XXI ACMM in not deferring defence arguments.  No provision under
the PMLA, which debars offences under the IPC from being tried by the XXI ACMM
till a complaint is lodged under PMLA, has also been brought to the notice of
this Court.  It is evident, therefore, that no statutory provision has been
violated necessitating issuance of a writ of mandamus.  It is necessary to bear
in mind that while the jurisdiction of the High Courts, under Article 226 of the
Constitution, remains unaffected by legislative provisions, such power is to be
exercised to effectuate the regime of law, and not for abrogating it. Even while
acting in exercise of the said Constitutional power, the High Court cannot
ignore the law nor can it override it. The power under Article 226 is conceived
to serve the ends of law and not to transgress them.  (Mafatlal Industries Ltd.
v. Union of India23).
VII. DOES FAILURE TO DEFER DEFENCE ARGUMENTS IN THE CBI CASES VIOLATE ARTICLES                
14 AND 21 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA:    

        Let us now examine the petitioners contention that, failure to defer
defence arguments in the CBI cases, would violate their fundamental rights under
Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.  All that Article 21 stipulates
is that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except
according to the procedure established by law.  It is no doubt true that Article
14 strikes at arbitrariness in State action and ensures fairness and equality of
treatment; the principle of reasonableness is an essential element of equality
or non-arbitrariness which pervades Article 14; the procedure contemplated by
Article 21 must answer the test of reasonableness in order to be in conformity
with Article 14; it must be "right, just and fair", and not arbitrary, fanciful
or oppressive; otherwise, it would be no procedure at all; and the requirement
of Article 21 would not be satisfied. (Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India24). While
the procedure established by law, before depriving a person of his life or
personal liberty, must no doubt be fair and reasonable, it is not even contended
before this Court that the procedure being followed by XXI ACMM in trying the
CBI cases is not fair and reasonable.  Except to state that failure to defer the
defence arguments is arbitrary, discriminatory and in violation of Article 14 of
the Constitution of India, the petitioners have not been able to point out any
provision of law which obligates the XXI ACMM to defer defence arguments
indefinitely or even till a complaint is filed by the E.D. before the Special
Court.  When violation of Article 14 is alleged, the burden rests on the
petitioner to establish by clear and cogent evidence that the State has been
guilty of arbitrary discrimination. There is a presumption of validity of the
State action and the burden is on the person who alleges violation of Article 14
to prove the assertion. The person who alleges arbitrariness must alone prove
it. (Soosai v. Union of India25; Shrilekha Vidyarthi (Kumari) v. State of
U.P.,26).   The petitioners have miserably failed to discharge this burden.
VIII: SCOPE OF ARTICLES 20(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA AND SECTION 300          
Cr.P.C.
     
It is not as if the petitioners are without remedy, even if they adduce
arguments in their defence in the CBI cases, for, on pronouncement of judgment
by the XXI ACMM, they would be entitled not only for protection under Article
20(2) of the Constitution of India, but also to the protection of Section 26 of
the General Clauses Act and Section 300 Cr.P.C. including the defence of issue-
estoppel.  The fundamental right, guaranteed in Article 20(2) of the
Constitution of India, enunciates the principle of autrefois convict or 'double
jeopardy'. The roots of that principle are to be found in the well-established
rule of the common law of England 'that where a person has been convicted for an
offence by a court of competent jurisdiction the conviction is a bar to all
further criminal proceedings for the same offence'. To the same effect is the
ancient maxim Nemo bis debet puniri pro uno delicto, that is to say that no one
ought to be twice punished for one offence or as it is sometimes written pro
eadem causa that is, for the same cause.  (Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India v. Vimal Kumar Surana27; Maqbool Hussain v. State of Bombay28).  Article
20(2) has its roots also in the common law maxim nemo debet bis vexari - a man
shall not be brought into danger for one and the same offence more than once. If
a person is charged again for the same offence, he can plead, as a complete
defence, his former conviction, or as it is technically expressed, take the plea
of autrefois convict. The principle has been recognised in the existing law in
India and is enacted in Section 26 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 and Section
300 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.  (Monica Bedi v. State of Andhra
Pradesh29).
'The plea of autrefois convict or autrefois acquit avers that the defendant has
been previously convicted or acquitted on a charge for the same offence as that
in respect of which he is arraigned.  The test is whether the former offence and
the offence now charged have the same ingredients in the sense that the facts
constituting the one are sufficient to justify a conviction of the other, not
that the facts relied on are the same in the two trials. A plea of autrefois
acquit is not proved unless it is shown that the verdict of acquittal of the
previous charge necessarily involves an acquittal of the latter. To operate as a
bar the second prosecution, and the consequential punishment thereunder, must be
for 'the same offence'. If, however, the two offences are distinct, then,
notwithstanding that the allegations of facts in the two complaints might be
substantially similar, the benefit of the ban cannot be invoked.
        Broadly speaking a protection against a second or multiple punishment for
the same offence includes a protection against re-prosecution after acquittal, a
protection against re-prosecution after conviction and a protection against
double or multiple punishment for the same offence. Distinct statutory
provisions will be treated as involving separate offences for double jeopardy
purposes only if "each provision requires proof of an additional fact which the
other does not". In order that the prohibition is attracted the same act must
constitute an offence under more than one Act. If there are two distinct and
separate offences with different ingredients under two different enactments, a
double punishment is not barred.  (Vimal Kumar Surana27; Maqbool Hussain28;
Halsbury's Laws of England, Hailsham Edn., Vol. 9, pp. 152-53, para 212.; State
of Bihar v Murad Ali Khan30; Blockburger v. United States31; State of Bombay v.
S.L. Apte32; Leo Roy Frey v. Supdt., District Jail33).
 In order to invoke the protection of Article 20(2), there must have been a
prosecution as well as a punishment in respect of the same offence before a
court of law of competent jurisdiction or a tribunal required by law to decide
the matters in controversy judicially on evidence. The words "prosecuted" and
"punished" are to be taken not distributively so as to mean prosecuted or
punished. Both the factors must co-exist in order that the operation of the
clause may be attracted.  The test to ascertain whether the two offences are the
same is not the identity of the allegations but the identity of the ingredients
of the offence. The proceedings contemplated therein are in the nature of
criminal proceedings before a court of law or a judicial tribunal and the
prosecution, in this context, would mean an initiation or starting of the
proceedings of a criminal nature in accordance with the procedure prescribed in
the statute which creates the offence and regulates the procedure.  (Monica
Bedi29; Maqbool Hussain28;  Sangeetaben Mahendrabhai Patel v. State of
Gujarat34; S.A. Venkataraman v. Union of India35).
Section 300(1) CrPC is wider than Article 20(2) of the Constitution. While
Article 20(2) of the Constitution only states that "no person shall be
prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once", Section 300(1)
CrPC states that no one can be tried and convicted for the same offence or even
for a different offence but on the same facts. (Kolla Veera Raghav Rao v.
Gorantla Venkateswara Rao36).  While Article 20(2) embodies the principle of
autrefois convict, Section 300 Cr.P.C. combines both autrefois convict and
autrefois acquit. Section 300 Cr.P.C. has further widened the protective wings
by debarring a second trial against the same accused on the same facts even for
a different offence if a different charge against him for such offence could
have been made under Section 221(1) Cr.P.C, or he could have been convicted for
such other offence under Section 221(2) Cr.P.C. (State v. Nalini37)  The well-
known maxim "nemo debet bis vexari pro eadem causa" (no person should be twice
vexed for the same offence) embodies the well-established common law rule that
no one should be put to peril twice for the same offence. The principle which is
sought to be incorporated into Section 300 Cr.P.C. is that no man should be
vexed with more than one trial for offences arising out of identical acts
committed by him. When an offence has already been the subject of judicial
adjudication, whether it ended in acquittal or conviction, it is negation of
criminal justice to allow repetition of the adjudication in a separate trial on
the same set of facts. (Nalini37) .
There is an issue-estoppel if it appears by the record of itself, or as
explained by proper evidence, that the same point was determined in favour of a
person in a previous criminal trial which is to be brought in issue on a second
criminal trial of the same person.  There must be a prior proceeding determined
against the prosecution necessarily involving an issue which again arises in a
subsequent proceeding by the prosecution against the person.    In order to
invoke the rule of issue-estoppel not only the parties in the two trials must be
the same but also the fact-in-issue proved or not in the earlier trial must be
identical with what is sought to be reagitated in the subsequent trial.
(Ravinder Singh v. State of Haryana38; King v. Wilkes39). Issue-estoppel does
not prevent the trial of an offence as does autre fois acquit but only precludes
evidence being led to prove a fact-in-issue as regards which evidence has
already been led and a specific finding recorded at an earlier criminal trial
before a Court of competent jurisdiction. (Manipur Administration v. Thokchom,
Bira Singh40).
        Sri D. Prakash Reddy, Learned Senior Counsel, would fairly state that,
while such protection would no doubt be available after judgment is delivered by
the XXI ACMM in the  CBI cases, the petitioners apprehension is that, in view of
the voluminous evidence - both oral and documentary - adduced both by the
prosecution and the defence, it would be fairly long before judgment, in the CBI
cases, is delivered by the XXI ACMM; and if, in the meanwhile, the E.D, relying
on the pitfalls, loopholes and omissions pointed out in the prosecution case
during defence arguments, were to fill up such gaps in the complaint to be filed
by them before the Special Court under PMLA, the petitioners would suffer grave
prejudice thereby.
This submission of the Learned Senior Counsel is based on the premise that the
High Court would decline to accede to the request of the E.D. that the XXI ACMM
be upgraded as a Sessions Court, and be designated as a Special Court under
PMLA; the E.D. would then file its complaint before the presently designated
Special Court under PMLA filling up the gaps and loopholes pointed out during
defence arguments; trial in the said designated Special Court under PMLA would
be expedited; and judgment would be delivered by the Special Court, even before
the XXI ACMM delivers judgment in the CBI cases.  This premise is too far
fetched, outrageous, and extremely remote, to even merit consideration.  Even if
hypothetically, such a far fetched eventuality were to arise in future, it would
always be open to the petitioners to avail their legal remedies at that stage.
They cannot as at present, when the High Court has not even communicated its
decision on the ED's request for designating the XXI ACMM Court as the Special
Court under the PMLA, seek a mandamus from this Court directing the XXI ACMM to
defer defence arguments, in the CBI cases, indefinitely.
IX. SHOULD THIS COURT EXAMINE THE QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT THE XXI ACMM COURT CAN                  
BE DESIGNATED AS THE SPECIAL COURT UNDER PMLA?            

Sri T. Niranjan Reddy, Learned Standing counsel for the CBI, would submit that
the CBI has filed a charge sheet for offences under Section 120-B, 409/406, 419,
420, 467, 468 and 477-A IPC; in the complaint to be filed by the ED the
allegations would be confined to the offence of money laundering; as the
petitioners have already disclosed their defence under the provisions of Cr.P.C,
the complaint to be filed by the ED would not, in any way, prejudice their
rights; and the charges, in the proceedings initiated by the CBI, are entirely
different from the contents of the complaint to be filed by the ED under the
provisions of the PMLA.  In its written submissions, the E.D. would submit that,
pursuant to the order of the Supreme Court dated 10.12.2012, the Central
Government had addressed letters to the Registrar - General of the High Court of
Andhra Pradesh to designate the XXI ACMM Court, as the 'Special Court' in terms
of Section 43(1) of PMLA, and the matter stands at that stage; and once the XXI
ACMM Court is designated as the Special Court, the complaint for an offence of
money laundering (Section 3 of PMLA) would be immediately filed.
On the other hand Sri D. Prakash Reddy, Learned Senior Counsel appearing on
behalf of the petitioners, would submit that the complaint, to be filed by the
E.D, is to be tried only by the Special Court along with all other offences
i.e., offences under Section 4 of PMLA, the scheduled offences and any other
offence; once a complaint is filed by the E.D, the CBI cases cannot be continued
before the learned Magistrate; even according to the E.D, they have to be
transferred to the Special Court; even if the XXI ACMM is upgraded, the Learned
Magistrate cannot continue to decide the CBI cases, but will be required to try
only  the complaint of the E.D. in the capacity of a Special Court designated
under PMLA; the ED has admitted, in their counter affidavit, that they were
ready to file a complaint, and had approached the High Court for necessary
orders so that the XXI ACMM can try the ED complaint; and, in such a case, the
CBI cases on the file of XXI ACMM and the ED Complaint have to be tried together
under PMLA.
                The understanding of either the petitioners or the ED or the C.B.I.
on the scope and purport of the provisions of PMLA is not conclusive, as the
power to interpret the provisions of a statute is conferred on the judicial
branch of the State.  Since the E.D's request for constitution of a special
court is still pending consideration of the High Court of A.P, the questions
raised regarding the jurisdiction of the XXI ACMM (before whom the CBI cases are
pending); whether those offences for which the petitioners are being tried in
the CBI cases should be tried along with the offences under PMLA, only by the
Special Court after a complaint is filed before it by the E.D; whether the XXI
Addl. CMM court can be designated as the Special Court under PMLA etc; are
merely academic issues since the applications filed by the ED have not, as at
present, been disposed of by the High Court of A.P.  It is not yet known whether
or not the XXI ACMM would be designated as the Special Court under PMLA. It is
only after a decision is taken, on the request of the ED by the High Court, can
a complaint be filed by the E.D before the Special Court.  It is only then that
these issues may arise.  These questions do not, therefore, necessitate
examination in the present writ proceedings.  Suffice to note that it is not the
ED, but two of the accused in the CBI cases, who have invoked the jurisdiction
of this Court seeking stay of trial, (which is at an advanced stage of
conclusion i.e., at the stage of defence arguments), in the CBI cases.
X. SHOULD THIS COURT EXERCISE ITS DISCRETION TO GRANT THE RELIEFS SOUGHT FOR IN                
THESE WRIT PETITIONS?  
Let us now examine the submission of Sri T. Niranjan Reddy, Learned Standing
Counsel for the CBI, that this Court should refrain from exercising its
discretion under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, and refuse to grant
the reliefs sought for in these writ petitions. Learned Counsel would submit
that, in view of the binding nature of the directions of the Supreme Court and
the undertaking given by the accused, the present Writ Petitions should not be
entertained; while disposing of C.A. Nos. 2068 to 2072 of 2010 filed by the CBI,
against the order of this Court granting bails to the accused in the CBI cases,
(including the Petitioners), the Supreme Court had, by its order dated
26.10.2010, directed the trial court to take up trial of the CBI cases on a day
to day basis, and to conclude the trial as expeditiously as possible on or
before 31.07.2011; as the Supreme Court had directed the CBI to examine only
material and most essential witnesses the CBI had examined only 226 witnesses
giving up 440 witnesses during the course of trial; the directions issued by the
Supreme Court are binding; subsequently when bail was granted, the accused in
the CBI cases gave an undertaking before the Supreme Court that they would
continue to co-operate with the trial; the counsel for the petitioners herein
had also stated that the accused would strictly adhere to the time schedule
fixed by the trial Court; on an application filed by the ED, seeking
clarification of the order in Crl.A. Nos.2068 to 2072 of 2010 dated 26.10.2010
(order cancelling the bail of accused including the petitioners herein), the
Supreme Court, by its order dated 10.12.2012, had clarified that the High Court
could take up the application filed by the Enforcement Directorate for
designating any one of the  Courts as the designated Court to try offences under
PMLA; except issuing the said clarification, no other directions were issued by
the Supreme Court; there is no reference to the directions issued earlier on
26.10.2010 in the later order passed by the Supreme Court on 10.12.2012; the
directions issued by the Supreme Court, in its order dated 26.10.2010, have not
been disturbed or modified in the subsequent order passed on 10.12.2012; the
petitioners have, therefore, no locus-standi to initiate the present
proceedings; the E.D. has so far not presented the complaint to prosecute the
accused under the provisions of PMLA and, as such, the present proceedings are
pre-mature.
On the other hand Sri D. Prakash Reddy, Learned Senior Counsel, would submit
that the contention of the CBI, that any order passed in these Writ Petitions in
favour of the petitioners would run counter to the order of the Supreme Court
dated 26.10.2010, is not tenable, as the said order was passed at a time when it
was not clear whether the E.D. would file a complaint; the Crl.M.Ps, filed by
the E.D. before the Supreme Court, have given rise to a new cause of action for
filing of the present Writ Petitions; the vigour of the order dated 26-10-2010
was relaxed by the Supreme Court in its subsequent order dated 04.11.2011
whereby the petitioner was granted bail; the order passed subsequently by the
Supreme Court on 10-12-2012, in Crl.M.P. No.11277-11281/2011, drastically
altered the situation as it gave liberty to the E.D. to approach this Court, and
seek appropriate directions for constitution of the Special Court under PMLA;
and this also gave rise to a cause of action to the petitioners to file the
present Writ Petitions.
Learned Senior Counsel would further submit that the petitioners' undertaking,
as referred to in the order of the Supreme Court dated 04-11-2011 granting them
bail, was merely not to examine any of the given up prosecution witnesses as
defence witnesses in the trial pending before the XXI ACMM; the petitioners have
fully co-operated with the trial; they had adhered to the time schedule fixed by
the trial court; however, after the E.D. entered the picture, filed Crl. M.Ps,
and obtained an order from the Supreme Court on 10-12-2012, the situation has
drastically changed; in view of the imminent prejudice that would be caused to
them, the petitioners were constrained to file the present Writ Petition; having
regard to the aforesaid subsequent events, the present Writ Petition is
maintainable; when the rights of the petitioners are put in jeopardy, the said
undertaking would lose its efficacy in view of the intervention of another
investigating agency namely the E.D. to prosecute the petitioners; no purpose
would, therefore, be served if the CBI cases, on the file of XXI ACMM, is argued
as it would give scope for the ED to know the defence of the accused, and the
contradictions and omissions that may be pointed out in the prosecution's case
during arguments; this would then enable the ED to fill up these gaps/lacunae in
their complaint; advancing defence arguments would be prejudicial to the
accused; and this Court should, therefore, stay  further proceedings in the CBI
cases until filing of a complaint by the E.D before the appropriate Special
Court.
In its I.A dated 11.05.2011, filed before the Supreme Court, the ED sought its
permission to approach the High Court of AP, requesting it to designate the
learned XXI ACMM to the rank of Addl. Sessions Judge to exercise jurisdiction
within the meaning of Section 9(3) Cr.P.C. and thereafter notify, in
consultation with the  Chief Justice of the High Court of AP, the XXI ACMM Court
(as a court of Sessions) to be a Special Court within the meaning of Section
43(1) of PMLA, for conducting trial on the complaint to be filed within 15 days
of passing of orders by the Supreme Court or till such other time as may be
directed by it.  The ED also sought an order from the Supreme Court that, upon
the disposal/conclusion of the charges arising by the CBI charge sheet, it would
be open to the XXI ACMM in the capacity of a Special Court, notified under
Section 43(1) of the PMLA, to take cognizance, proceed to hear and complete the
trial of the complaint to be filed by the E.D.   One of the accused in the CBI
cases filed a counter-affidavit thereto on 12.10.2011 seeking dismissal of the
I.A.
It is evident, therefore, that when the petitioners were granted bail by the
Supreme Court on 04.11.2011, they were aware of the application filed by the
E.D, and the counter-affidavit filed by one of the accused thereto, despite
which they filed affidavits of undertaking before the Supreme Court that they
would not examine the witnesses given up by the prosecution in the CBI cases;
and the learned counsel appearing on their behalf submitted before the Supreme
Court that the parties (which included the petitioners herein) had been co-
operating with the trial Court, and they would continue to do so.  These Counsel
further undertook that the accused would strictly adhere to the time schedule
fixed by the trial Court.  The Supreme Court, in its order dated 04.11.2011,
once again requested the trial Court to ensure that the trial of the CBI cases
is completed as expeditiously as possible.  If, as is now being contended before
this Court, advancing defence arguments would result in the E.D. filling up the
gaps relating to the omissions, pitfalls and contradictions, pointed out by the
defence Counsel, in the prosecution's evidence, nothing prevented the
petitioners or their counsel from refusing to give an undertaking to the Supreme
Court to continue to co-operate with, and to strictly adhere to the time
schedule fixed by, the trial Court.
XI. JUDGMENT INTER-PARTIES ARE BINDING AND CANNOT BE RE-OPENED IN SUBSEQUENT                  
PROCEEDINGS:  

The directions of the Supreme Court, in its order dated 26.10.2010, required the
trial Court to take up the case on day to day basis, and conclude the trial of
the cases as expeditiously as possible in any event on or before 30.07.2011; and
to avoid granting any undue adjournments, unless it became absolutely
imperative.  The parties (including the petitioners herein) were also directed
to examine only the material and the most essential witnesses, and fully
cooperate with the trial Court.  The aforesaid directions of the Supreme Court
dated 26.10.2010 are binding on the petitioners herein as they are also parties
to the said order which has attained finality, as the petitioners did not seek
any review thereof.   When a particular decision has become final and binding
between the parties, they will always be bound by the said decision. Either of
the parties will not be permitted to reopen the issue decided by such a
decision.  (Supreme Court Employees Welfare Association Vs. Union of India41).
Such orders bind the parties in a subsequent litigation or before the same Court
in the subsequent stage of the proceedings.  (Barkat Ali v. Badrinarain42).
        Sri D. Prakash Reddy, Learned Senior Counsel, would contend that the
subsequent orders of the Supreme Court dated 04.11.2011 and 10.12.2012 had
diluted the earlier order of the Supreme Court dated 26.10.2010.  Even the order
of the Supreme Court dated 04.11.2011, whereby the petitioners were granted
bail, records that affidavits of undertaking were filed by the petitioners, and
the submission of the Learned Counsel appearing on their behalf, was pursuant to
its directions. The Supreme Court, in its order dated 04.11.2011, again
requested the trial Court to ensure that the trial of the CBI cases is completed
as expeditiously as possible.
        The clarificatory order of the Supreme Court dated 10.12.2012 does not, in
any manner, dilute or negate the earlier directions of the Supreme Court in its
orders dated 26.10.2010 and 04.11.2011.  As noted hereinabove the E.D, in its
I.A. filed before the Supreme Court, had merely requested that the XXI ACMM be
designated as a Special Court under Section 43(1) of PMLA; and the trial, at the
instance of the CBI, should continue uninterrupted in conformity with the
earlier order of the Supreme Court dated 26.10.2010, and completed on or before
31.07.2011 as directed by the Supreme Court.  It is only because the trial could
not be completed by 31.07.2011, that the petitioners were entitled to seek bail,
and had therefore filed applications in this regard.  While granting bail, by
its order dated 04.11.2011, the Supreme Court again requested the trial Court to
ensure that the trial of the cases was completed expeditiously.  The order of
the Supreme Court dated 10.12.2012 does not nullify the earlier directions of
the Supreme Court in its order dated 26.10.2010. All that the Supreme Court did
was to clarify that its earlier order dated 26.10.2010 would not come in the way
of the High Court examining the petition of the E.D. for designating a competent
court for passing appropriate orders under PMLA keeping in mind the provisions
of the relevant law.  While the E.D. had requested that the XXI ACMM be
designated as the Special Court, and one of the accused had filed a counter-
affidavit opposing such a request, the Supreme Court chose not to express any
opinion as to which Court was to hear the proceedings under PMLA, and left it
open to the High Court to consider the issue in accordance with law. It is not
as if the Supreme Court, while passing a clarificatory order on 10.12.2012, had
recalled its earlier directions to the trial Court, in its order dated
26.10.2010, to take up the CBI cases on a day to day basis, and to conclude the
case as expeditiously as possible; or its directions to the parties to fully co-
operate with the trial Court.
XII. JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE REQUIRES THE HIGH COURT TO FOLLOW, AND NOT TO ACT            
CONTRARY TO, THE DIRECTIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT:            

Granting the relief sought for, in these writ petitions, would fall foul of the
order of the Supreme Court dated 26.10.2010.  The order of the Supreme Court
dated 26.10.2010 is a decision which the High Court is bound to follow.  Black's
Law Dictionary defines a "decision" as "a determination arrived at after
consideration of facts and, in legal context, law"; and an "opinion" as the
statement by a Judge or court of the decision reached in regard to a cause tried
or argued before them, expounding the law as applied to the case, and detailing
the reasons upon which the judgment is based.  A 'Decision' is not necessarily
synonymous with 'opinion'. A decision of the court is its judgment; the opinion
is the reasons given for that judgment, or the expression of the views of the
Judge.  In the case of a decision, the appellate structure is exhausted after a
pronouncement by the Supreme Court. The only option left to the parties is of
review or curative jurisdiction.  (Natural Resources Allocation, In re, Special
Reference No. 1 of 2012 43).
Judicial discipline requires, and decorum known to law warrants, that appellate
directions should be followed.   In the hierarchical system of courts which
exists in this country, it is necessary for each lower tier to accept loyally
the decisions of the higher tiers.  The judicial system only works if someone is
allowed to have the last word and if that last word, once spoken, is loyally
accepted. (Kausalya Devi Bogra v. Land Acquisition Officer44; Cassell & Co. Ltd.
v. Broome45).  The singular Constitutional role of the Supreme Court under the
Constitution, and correspondingly of the assisting role of all authorities -
civil or judicial in the territory of India - towards it, mandate the High
Court,  which is one such judicial authority covered under Article 144 of the
Constitution, to act in aid of the Supreme Court. The order of the Supreme Court
is a judicial order, and is otherwise enforceable throughout the territory of
India under Article 142 of the Constitution. The High Court is bound to come in
aid of the Supreme Court in having its order worked out. While the High Court is
independent, and is a co-equal institution, the Constitutional scheme and
judicial discipline requires that the High Court should give due regard to the
orders of the Supreme Court which are binding on all courts within the territory
of India.   (Spencer & Co. Ltd. v. Vishwadarshan Distributors (P) Ltd.,46; Bayer
India Ltd. v. State of Maharashtra47; E.S.P. Rajaram v. Union of India48).
While directions were issued to the trial Court in the order of the Supreme
Court dated 26.10.2010, the Supreme Court, by its order dated 04.11.2011,
requested the trial court to ensure that the trial of the CBI cases was
completed as expeditiously as possible. The language of request, often employed
by the Supreme Court, is to be read by the High Court as an obligation, in
carrying out the Constitutional mandate, maintaining the writ of the Supreme
Court running large throughout the country. (Bayer India Ltd.47; E.S.P.
Rajaram48; Spencer & Co. Ltd.46).
        Granting the petitioners the relief sought for, in these Writ Petitions,
would negate the orders of the Supreme Court dated 26.10.2010 and 04.11.2011.
In the light of the directions of the Supreme Court in its orders dated
26.10.2010 and 04.11.2011, and as these directions have not been recalled by the
Supreme Court in its subsequent order dated 10.12.2012, it would be wholly
inappropriate for this Court to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction under
Article 226 of the Constitution of India to grant the reliefs sought for by the
petitioners.
XIII. THESE WRIT PETITIONS, FILED ONLY TO DELAY PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE XXI ACMM,                 
ARE AN ABUSE OF PROCESS OF COURT:           

        It must be noted that the application filed by the E.D. on 11.05.2011,
requesting that the XXI ACMM be designated as a Special Court under the PMLA, as  
well as the counter-affidavit filed thereto by one of the accused on 12.10.2011
opposing such a request, were filed before the Supreme Court when the
petitioners were still in judicial custody.  Despite being aware that the E.D.
was about to file a complaint under the PMLA, the petitioners and their counsel
undertook before the Supreme Court, (as is noted in the order of the Supreme
Court dated 04.11.2011), to continue to co-operative with the trial Court, and
to strictly adhere to the time schedule fixed by it.  Having obtained bail from
the Supreme Court on an undertaking having been given on their behalf by their
Counsel, despite the petitioners being aware that a compliant was about to be
filed by the E.D. under the PMLA, the present Writ Petitions seeking deferment
of the CBI cases (which is at an advanced stage of defence arguments) is not
only an undisguised attempt to delay completion of the trial, but also an abuse
of process of this Court.  The jurisdiction of the High Court, under Article 226
of the Constitution, is extraordinary, equitable and discretionary. Prerogative
writs mentioned therein are issued for doing substantial justice. A prerogative
remedy is not a matter of course. While exercising extraordinary power a writ
court would certainly bear in mind the conduct of the party who invokes the
jurisdiction of the court. (K.D. Sharma v. Steel Authority of India Limited49).

XIV. CONCLUSION:
        I see no reason, in these circumstances, to grant the relief sought for in
both the Writ Petitions. Needless to state that the XXI ACMM shall, in
compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court in its orders dated
26.10.2010 and 04.11.2011, ensure that the trial of the CBI cases is completed
at the earliest.  Both the Writ Petitions fail and are, accordingly, dismissed
with exemplary costs of Rs.25,000/- (Rupees twenty five thousand only) each
which shall be paid by both the petitioners, in these two Writ Petitions, to the
A.P. State Legal Services Authority, Hyderabad within four weeks from today.
_____________________________  
RAMESH RANGANATHAN,J      
Date: 12.02.2013

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