Kumar Vs. The Enforcement Officer, Enforcement Directorate, Madras  INSC 736 (16 September 1997)
ANAND, K. VENKATASAMI
Dr. Justice A.S. Anand Hon'ble Mr. justice K. Venkataswami S.S. Ray, T.S. Arunachalam,
K.T.S. Tulsi, S.B. Wad, Sr. Advs., Jinasenan, N. Jothi, K.K. Mani, K.V.
Vikas Pahwa, K.V. Vijayakumar, S.N. Bhat, Manoj Wad, V.K. Verma, Advs., with
them for the appearing parties.
O R D
E R The following order of the Court was delivered.
Grated, This appeal is directed against the judgement and order of the High
Court dated 28th March,
1996 in writ Appeal
no.329 of 1996.
were issued by the respondent to appellant under Section 40 of the Foreign
Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 (hereinafter called as FERA) to appear before him
on the fixed date. After putting in certain conditions for his appearance, the
appellant appeared before the respondent on 15th May, 1996 when his statement was recorded. His statements were also
recorded on 9th July,
1996 and July 12th.
The appellant filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the issuance
of summons to him and in the writ petition precise grievance made was that the
appellant cannot be "compelled" to give his statement in writing in
connection with an offence under FERA. A learned Single Judge of the High Court
after detailed discussion dismissed the writ petition. The appellant took the
matter in a writ appeal by a detailed order, was dismissed at the stage of
admission itself. By special leave, this appeal has been filed in this court.
have heard learned counsel for the parties.
not denied that the statement of the appellant have been recorded by the
respondent on 15th May,
1996, 9th July, 1996. Learned counsel for the appellant
did not dispute and rightly so that a person to whom summons are issued under
section 40 of FERA may be called upon to give his statement in writing and sign
it and a such a corse is not prohibited either by the statute or the
opinion there is no presumption that such a statement is always
"involuntary. In Amba Lal vs. Union Of India and others: AIR 1961 Sc 264 a
constitution Bench of this court opined that such a course was desirable and
observed that the giving of the Statement in writing under the signature of the
maker safeguards the interest of the maker as well as the department and the
interest of the maker as well as the department and eliminates the possibility
of making a complaint subsequently that the statement was not correctly
recorded by the authorities. What has, however, been urged before us is that he
cannot be "compelled' to give such a statement. Apart from the assertion
of the appellant in the court that the statements are "extracted"
under "compulsion" Which fact has been denied by the respondents,
there is no other material placed on the record from which we may assume any
element of "compulsion" being exercised as alleged by the appellant.
our giving opportunities to the appellant to file copies of those statements in
this court to satisfy ourselves whether there was any element of
"compulsion" visible from those statements, copies of those
statements have been withheld for reasons best known to the appellant.
matter of fact copies of those statements ought to have been filed with the
special leave petition itself. It is, therefore, not possible for us to was
some that any "compulsion" was exercised by the respondent to force
the appellant to give his statements in writing. Administration of caution to
the person summoned under Section 40 of FERA that not making a truthful
statement would be an offence cannot by any stretch of imagination be construed
as use of "pressure" to "extract" the statement.
Administration of such a caution, which has the statutory backing of Section
40(3) of FERA itself, is in effect in the interest of the person who is making
the statement in view of the provisions of Section 40(4) of FERA.
for what we have said above and for the reasons given by the high Court, we
find no merit in this appeal.
appeal, therefore, fails and is hereby dismissed. The interim direction shall
stand vacated. The appellant shall pay Rs.5,000/- as costs.