The Delhi High Court recently, while allowing a Petition by a man accused of offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, seeking to travel to Canada and London for the admission process of his son and for leisure and business travel, observed that "Even if a person is an accused and is facing trial, he should not ordinarily be denied these special moments of small pleasures in life."

The Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma was dealing with a Petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure by one Parvin Juneja challenging the order of a Special Judge, PC Act, Rouse Avenue, Delhi. In the impugned order, the Special Judge refused to grant permission to Juneja to travel and dismissed the application on the ground that Juneja failed to produce any document to show that his presence is required for admission of his son in York University and that he had also failed to provide any itinerary with regard to his staying in Canada, Norway and London.

The Trial Court also observed that earlier the Petitioner’s application to travel abroad in connection with admission of his son in the college was also dismissed as he had filed forged documents in support of his contention. Advocate Pooja Mehra Seigal appeared for the Petitioner while the Enforcement Directorate was represented by Advocate Ravi Prakash.

The Petitioner before the High Court contended that he has been granted permission to travel abroad at least 18 times in the past by the High Court as well as by the Trial Court and has never misused the liberty so granted. It was also stated that the petitioner wants to go abroad for the purpose of admission of his son in the Schulich School of Business. It was also submitted as far as the ground that the petitioner had forged travel documents on a prior occasion is concerned, it is stated that the High Court had permitted him to travel abroad thereafter.

Observing the submissions, the Court noted that Juneja has traveled abroad on about 20 occasions in the past with permission of the High Court and the Trial Court and has never misused the liberty of going abroad and had returned to India in time without violating any condition imposed on him for the purpose of going abroad.

The Bench further observed that "Admission of a child whether in school or in a college/University is a moment the parent and the child cherish forever", and accordingly noted "It is a feeling of togetherness as well as support by the mere presence with each other, which is expected by each child and parent while achieving such a milestone. Even if a person is an accused and is facing trial, he should not ordinarily be denied these special moments of small pleasures in life. To observe and hold that the son may not need support of the father for the purpose of his admission in the University being grown up, will ignore a very crucial fact of practical life that a child is a child forever for a parent and should be permitted, if circumstances so warrant, when he is entering into a new life in another new country and pursuing journey of higher studies."

The Court also in its order stated that "This Court will not deny this moment of togetherness to the family and the son and the father at the time of his admission in a University of his choice."

Accordingly, stating that "Thus, as a parent, the petitioner's presence, assistance and support is a precious right as well as moment for the parent, the child and the family, which should be allowed to the petitioner, in the absence of anything reflecting violation of any condition in the past or the petitioner not returning back to the country", the Court allowed the prayer of the petitioner to travel abroad to Canada for the purpose of admission of his son for 15 days.

Cause Title: Parvin Juneja v. Directorate of Enforcement & Anr. [CRL.M.C. 5143/2023]

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