Court Quashes Money Laundering Cases Against Tech Mahindra

Court Quashes Money Laundering Cases Against Tech Mahindra

Hyderabad: In a major relief to Tech Mahindra, the High Court at Hyderabad on Monday quashed all money laundering cases filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the infotech major.

ED had filed cases against the erstwhile Satyam Computers Services Limited (SCSL) and its promoters. Its contention was that since Tech Mahindra had acquired Satyam, it automatically became an accused.

However, In June 2014, Tech Mahindra filed a writ petition questioning the criminal prosecution commenced by ED against it.

Justice P Naveen Rao held that Tech Mahindra cannot be held responsible for acts committed by SCSL before it was acquired by Tech Mahindra.

ED's lawyer, P S P Suresh Kumar, said the agency would decide the course of its action after receiving the order copy.

The court held ED had failed to prove that Tech Mahindra as a company had any criminal intent in the alleged offence.

Justice Rao also held ED's complaint was retrospective application of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which is constitutionally "impermissible".

In the country's biggest accounting fraud, the scam came to light on January 7, 2009, after Ramalinga Raju allegedly confessed to manipulating his company's account books and inflating profits over many years to the tune of several crores of rupees.

In February that year, the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI took over the investigation and filed three charge sheets (on April 7, 2009, November 24, 2009 and January 7, 2010), which were later clubbed into a single charge sheet.

Subsequently, ED also filed a complaint in court naming SCSL also as an accused.

SCSL was taken over by the Mahindra Group and later merged into Tech Mahindra.