Rana Ayyub

The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 provides for a two-pronged approach, one for dealing with ‘proceeds of crime’ and other for dealing with persons guilty of offence of money-laundering.

As articulated in Kaushik Chatterjee v. State of Haryana, (2020) 10 SCC 92 jurisdiction of a Criminal Court is determined by (i) offence and/or (ii) offender. Section 44(1)(a) of PMLA leaves no semblance of any doubt, offence of money-laundering is triable only by the Special Court constituted for the area in which the offence of money-laundering has been committed.

As we have pointed out, involvement of a person in any one or more of certain processes or activities connected with ‘proceeds of crime’, constitutes money-laundering. These processes or activities include, (i) concealment; (ii) possession; (iii) acquisition; (iv) use; (v) projecting as untainted property; or (vi) claiming as untainted property. A person may (i) acquire ‘proceeds of crime’ in one place, (ii) keep same in his possession in another place, (iii) conceal same in a third place, and (iv) use same in a fourth place. This question of will depend upon evidence before Trial Court.

The issue of territorial jurisdiction cannot be decided in a Writ Petition. This question should be raised by Rana Ayyub before the Special Court. Dismissed.

Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Rana Ayyub v. Directorate of Enforcement, [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 12 of 2023].