The 60-year-old was aquitted on grounds that ED’s probe did not comply with FER Act.
Mumbai: A magistrate court has acquitted a 60-year-old man of charges that he attempted to smuggle foreign currency worth Rs 70 lakh to Dubai in 1994. The court acquitted the accused on the ground that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its probe against him had not complied with the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and also did not give him the opportunity to produce documents showing him to be an authorised forex dealer.
The prosecution case is that based on information about Pawan Kumar Choumal, the accused, airlines officials searched him, on October 30, 1994 and found foreign currency worth Rs 10 lakh concealed in the handle of his bag. Choumal was travelling to Dubai by Cathy Pacific Air. Following the discovery of currency, the officials offloaded Choumal from the flight and on a search of his person found foreign currency of Deutsche Mark and Francs worth around Rs 70 lakh in total.
The prosecution claimed that Choumal in his statement had accepted that he was carrying foreign currency to Dubai for one Rasik bhai, who was running a shop in Dubai. He stated that one Raju has provided him with money at the city airport. The prosecution further claimed that Choumal had on five occasions carried foreign currency to Dubai for Rasik bhai.
Choumal’s lawyer Ravi Hirani argued before magistrate S.V. Sahare that his client has been falsely implicated in this matter.
Magistrate Sahare noted that as per law it is mandatory to issue notice to accused giving him an opportunity to show if he has permission to deal in foreign currency exchange.