- Case summary
(a) All the orders made in this court’s decision dated the 21st of January 2022 in this case CO 114 of 2021, SCSC36 are hereby revoked and cancel.
(b) The DBS Bank of Singapore and the Central Bank of Singapore are to be notified of this decision.
(c) The 1st Applicant is authorized to appoint a person to operate the overseas accounts DBS Accounts 225012-0 and 8900298189 at DBS Bank Limited Singapore, through a Power of Attorney.
(d) The 1ST Applicant is to provide copy of the said Power of Attorney, giving powers to operate the accounts, to this court within 14 days of these orders together with Bank Statements showing the standing balance of the two accounts as of the date of this Ruling.
R. GOVINDEN CJ
- This is an application in which the applicants are seeking for an order of this court revoking order no 3 and 4 of the Order made in a Ruling t dated the 21st of January 2022 in this case and to order the 1st applicant to appoint such person as he deem fit and necessary to operate his overseas bank accounts and for the Central Bank of Singapore to be so notified. The application is supported by the affidavit if the 1st applicant.
- The material parts of my previous Ruling is as follows;
- “In an Affidavit called supplementary Affidavit in support dated the 21st of January 2022, Mr Patrick Humphrey, an officer and investigator presently based at the Anti-Corruption Commission Seychelles Providence. has made averments against a Notary and Counsel. He avers that the said Notary and Counsel has committed an offence of aiding and abetting an act of Money Laundering under Section 3 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2020 by making and attesting to a power of Attorney of the accused Mukesh Valahbji whilst he was in detention on the 5th of January 2022. In which and for which Mr Valabhji gave power of Attorney to one Fahreen Rajan to handle Mr Mukesh Valabhji’s Singapore DBS Account S 225012-0 and 8900298189 at DBS Bank Limited Singapore. These are serious allegations and are relevant to this case in two ways.
(1) It might amount to an act that would hinder the due course of justice by facilitating this accused to further dispose the proceeds of the 50 million US Dollar charged in this case.
(2) Secondly it might relate to possibility of collusions.
- As such I would have to advise the ACCS to investigate these allegations further.
- However, to the extent that this power of Attorney can assist and facilitate the disipation of any parts of the proceeds of the embezzlement of the 50 million US Dollars charged in this case this Court, in the interest of justice, I will cancel, revoke and nullify the said power of Attorney.
- The DBS Bank Limited of Singapore and the Central Bank of Singapore is to be notified.”
- In the application it is averred that the 1st applicant is one of the beneficial owner of the afore-mentioned bank accounts and that the 2nd applicant is his wife. He further avers that as a result of his detention he was unable to operate these overseas accounts and hence the need to give a power of attorney to one of his employees to operate the accounts, in order to pay for his and the 2nd applicant legal fees, amongst other financial commitments. According to him since the said Ruling was made he has not been able to operate the accounts and use the funds to pay his and the 2nd applicant’s legal fees and any other expenses. It is his further averments that as a result of the respondent restricting all his accounts he has since July 2022 been unable to pay any legal fees from his business accounts and that these overseas accounts are a proper alternative sources to pay legal and had been the main source of this payment prior to the orders of this court.
- The Respondent in principle has no objections to the court granting the application, except that the 1st applicant is given access to his funds through a process which is capable of oversight by the court. Including the fact that this court ascertains that the invoices are bona fide payments to legal practitioners and that the amounts be reasonable.
- I have considered the application and the reply to it. Having done so I considered that at this juncture the respondent does not find it that there is a necessity to continue with the orders that I had made previously or if there was any, this has now lapse. At any rate it clearly appears to me that there is a consensus on the fact that the applicants needs access to private funds in order to meet their constitutional right to be defended before the court at their own expense by a legal practitioner of their own choices. Hence the need for them to access funds from the overseas accounts.
- Accordingly the court makes the following orders;
- (a) All the orders previously made in this court’s decision dated the 21st of January 2022 in this case CO 114 of 2021, SCSC36 are hereby revoked and cancel.
- (b) The DBS Bank of Singapore and the Central Bank of Singapore are to be notified of this decision.
- (c) The 1st Applicant is authorized to appoint a person to operate the overseas accounts DBS Account S 225012-0 and 8900298189 at DBS Bank Limited Singapore, through a Power of Attorney.
- (d) The 1st Applicant is to provide a copy of the said Power of Attorney, giving powers to operate the accounts, to this court within 14 days of this orders together with Bank Statements showing the standing balance of the two accounts as of the date of this Ruling.
The case is to be mentioned on the 23rd of June 2023 at 9am.
Signed, dated and delivered at Ile du Port on 9th of June 2023.