The Madras High Court has dismissed a petition filed by an accused in a money laundering case involving sand mining baron Shekhar Reddy, seeking the return of his passport to travel aboard.
The accused, Premkumar, had filed an appeal against the order of a CBI court here, refusing to return his passport.
In his order on Wednesday, Justice G Jayachandran said a person accused of a grave crime could not seek return of passport as a matter of right claiming that holding it was an infringement on his fundamental right.
A person like the petitioner, who had wide contacts, if allowed to possess the passport, there was every possibility of his flying away from the criminal judicial system, the judge said.
Premkumar had sought the return of his passport, which was surrendered before the CBI court at the time of his securing bail on May 12, 2017.
The petitioner had submitted that he had to travel abroad to make arrangements for the higher studies of his daughter.
The trial court had, however, declined his plea, following which he moved the high court.
The court was fully satisfied that the petitioner was not really intending to go abroad for the purpose of what he had stated in the petition, the judge said, dismissing the petition.
In December, 2016, the Income Tax department had seized Rs 99 crore in demonetised bank notes and another Rs 34 crore in new currencies, besides a 127-kg gold bar, from properties owned by Reddy and his associates.
Subsequently, Reddy and his associates -- K Srinivaslu and Premkumar -- were arrested.