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Granting relief to Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, a Special CBI Court has ordered the de-freezing of the firm’s Kotak Mahindra Bank account, except for an amount of Rs. 2.12 crore received from Nirav Modi and his firms as a legal fee.
In September this year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had frozen the current account of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas with Kotak Mahindra Bank in relation to an FIR registered by the CBI against Nirav Modi and others.
Thereafter, the firm moved an application under Section 451/457 of the CrPC for de-freezing of its current account with Kotak Mahindra Bank at the Worli Branch in Mumbai.
In its application, the firm submitted that it is an eminent law firm working for more than 100 years, and having more than 750 lawyers. The firm contended that on or about January 24, 2018, the firm was legally advising and assisting on a civil banking settlement related to Nirav Modi and his firms, which was terminated on February 21, 2018. For this legal work, the firm had received a legal fee that was deposited in its Kotak Mahindra Bank current account.
CBI had searched the premises of the firm on February 21, 2018, and taken 32 cartons of material/documents in their custody. On September 6, 2019, the firm received an email from the Bank regarding the freezing of its account by the CBI.
While praying to the Court to lift the freezing order of the CBI, the firm also offered to deposit the entire amount of the legal fee with the CBI.
CBI contended that the firm had received this amount as proceeds of crime and submitted that the amount may be allowed to be frozen. CBI also submitted that in case more. money is revealed to have received by the firm, the firm shall be directed to deposit the same along with an undertaking.
After hearing the parties, the Court ordered the de-freezing of the firm’s bank account. The Court said,
“The Current Account of the applicant Firm M/s. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas in Kotak Mahindra Bank, Worli Branch, Mumbai, shall be defrozen except to the tune of an amount of Rs.2,12,89,035.50ps., and it is hereby clarified that the applicant firm shall use, operate and deal with the said Current Account for any amount other than Rs.2,12,89,035.50ps.”
The Court also granted liberty to the firm to file a fresh application for depositing the frozen amount of Rs.2.12 crore in a fixed deposit at a nationalized bank.
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas Managing Partner Cyril Shroff declined to comment.
Read Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas v. CBI Orders