Supreme Court stays trial in money laundering case against Santiago Martin [10.4.2024]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the proceedings before a special court in a money laundering case against 'lottery king' Santiago Martin.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan issued notice on a plea by Martin challenging the March 16 order of a special PMLA court in Kerala's Ernakulam dismissing his petition for keeping in abeyance the trial in the money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Senior advocate Aditya Sondhi and advocate Rohini Musa, who appeared for Martin, said that the special court ought to have considered that the trial in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case can commence only after the conclusion of the trial in the predicate case.

On March 16, the special court dismissed Martin's application seeking to keep in abeyance the trial in the ED case till the conclusion of trial in the predicate offence, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case related to an alleged lottery scam.

In his plea before the top court, Martin said the chargesheet filed by the CBI is the predicate case on the basis of which the ED registered a money laundering case against him and others.

Referring to the 2022 verdict in the Vijay Madanlal Chaudhary case, he said that proceedings under the PMLA cannot be continued once there is an acquittal or discharge in the predicate case.

10 Apr 2024