The freezing of bank accounts of a company by the CBI was not found to be sustenable by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of India has issued a judgment in the criminal appeal case between M/s. Jermyn Capital LLC Dubai (the appellant) and the Central Bureau of Investigation & Others (the respondents). The appellant, a foreign institutional investor, had faced two freeze orders under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, preventing them from repatriating funds held in ICICI Bank. The freeze orders were imposed due to an investigation into an alleged crime involving an individual unrelated to the appellant company. The appellant appealed against the requirement of a bank guarantee for the release of the funds.

The court observed that the freeze orders and bank guarantee were imposed based on the alleged involvement of the unrelated individual. However, the said individual had been discharged of the alleged offenses by the trial court, and there were no criminal proceedings pending against the appellant company. The court concluded that the freeze orders were legally unsustainable as the appellant company was not connected to the alleged crime. The freeze order had been active for 17 years, causing significant losses to the appellant. Therefore, the court set aside the condition to furnish a bank guarantee and allowed the appellant to withdraw the funds along with 4% simple interest from the specified date.

M/s. Jermyn Capital LLC Dubai v. Central Bureau Of Investigation & Ors decided by the Supreme Court on 09.05.23

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.