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FERA case: Madras HC allows petition by TTV Dhinakaran; directs lower court to order ED to share documents

The Madras High Court today allowed a petition by AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran seeking copies of official documents relating to the 1996 FERA case file against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). It directed the trial court to order the ED to provide copies of the documents to Dhinakaran. When the matter came up, Justice MV Muralidharan said,The revision petition is allowed by directing the trial court to direct the ED to furnish the documents as sought for by the Revision Petitioner. Dhinakaran had filed the petition challenging the order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Economic Offences-II), here declining to issue copies of certain documents, including the case diary, sought by him. The ED submitted that Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), 1973, prohibits disclosure of any document, information, or intelligence of the department which were kept highly confidential and protected. Hence, such documents also cannot be provided, it had said. The case against Dhinakaran was that he allegedly acquired USD 1,04,93,313 in foreign exchange without obtaining permission from the Reserve Bank of India and deposited it in the current account of Dipper Investments Ltd., a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, and having an account with Barclays Bank in UK. The judge also dispensed with the appearance of Dhinakaran except when it is only ordered by the lower court.

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