The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Appellate Tribunal on Tuesday asked to release assets of 63 moons technologies ltd (erstwhile Financial Technologies India Ltd-FTIL) attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
However, the Tribunal has restrained 63 moons from dealing with the released assets till pendency of the trial of the larger issues in the PMLA court.
After quashing the attachment orders, The PMLA Tribunal has made release of assets subject to filing of an indemnity bond within a week.
In a statement, 63 moons says, "63 moons, based on sound legal advice, is of the opinion that passing of this sort of restraint order and of seeking an indemnity bond, particularly when the orders of attachment have been quashed, is beyond the power of the Tribunal under the PMLA. 63 moons will take appropriate legal recourse against this part of the order."
The latest relief comes after the Bombay High Court last month ruled that the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) is not a financial institution and hence notifications for attachment of the company's assets, including bank accounts and properties, under the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors (MPID) in Financial Establishments Act 1999 Act stood quashed.
The court also declined to stay its order as was requested by the economic offences wing (EoW) of the Mumbai Police.
The two-judge bench of Bharati H Dangre and Ranjit More of the Bombay High Court had ruled that the MPID Act is not applicable in terms of NSEL as it is not a financial institution.
In July 2016, the economic offences wing (EOW) of Mumbai police had attached assets worth Rs7,063 crore belonging to FTIL, owned and funded by Jignesh Shah. In a statement issued that time, the ministry of finance, had said, “So far, 831 properties worth Rs7,063 crore have been attached by EOW, Mumbai police under MPID Act, out of which, attachment of 711 properties worth Rs6,115 crore have been notified.”
According to 63 moons, the Bombay HC noted that despite the forensic audit commissioned by the EOW tracing the entire money trail to the defaulters, the state attached properties of 63 moons, which was not legally sustainable. It says, "...(the) High Court has also noted that after going through the documents, it leaves no doubt in our mind that the transaction was between two persons i.e. buyer and seller through medium of NSEL; and the Court is satisfied that the NSEL has not accepted any deposit and if it has not accepted any deposit, then it would not fall within the definition of 'financial establishment'."
"...(the) High Court has held that NSEL was a commodities exchange where commodities were traded between willing buyers and sellers acting through their brokers. The Court has noted that the state and the investigating agencies have simply assumed and proceeded on the basis that NSEL acted as financial establishment without verifying this jurisdictional fact before attaching properties of 63 moons," the statement issued by the company says.
63 moons Technologies is in the business of developing and selling technology products for facilitating trading on exchanges such as stock and commodity exchanges and claims to have more than 63,000 shareholders and over 800 employees.