The Crown Prosecution Service's authority to act in applying for a restraint order against the defendant's assets derived from the request for assistance by the appropriate authorities in the designated country of India under para.6 Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Designated Countries and Territories) Order 1991 SI 1991/2873.Application by the defendant ('Q') to discharge a restraint order made against him on an ex parte application made by the Crown Prosecution Service ('CPS') on behalf of the Government of India. The order restrained Q from removing or disposing of his assets in a London bank account amounting to around ?3 million. The order was made at the request of the Central Bureau of Investigation of India ('CBI') by fax as Q had been accused in India of conspiracy to cheat and criminal misconduct in discharge of official duty. The funds in issue were frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Q sought to discharge the restraint order on the grounds that: (i) the CPS had no statutory authority to make the application; (ii) one of the necessary statutory pre-conditions to the issue of a restraint order was not met. That of s.76(1)(c) Part VI Criminal Justice Act 1988 as to whether it appeared there were reasonable grounds for thinking such an order might be made in the Indian proceedings; (iii) the application for a restraint order was not made with full and frank disclosure or in good faith; and (iv) the CPS failed to have regard to the political background to the charges against Q.HELD: (1) The first of Q's grounds was misconceived. The CPS did not require express statutory authority to act on behalf of the government of a designated country, such as India. Its authority to act derived from the request for assistance by the appropriate authorities in the designated country. The fax from the CBI was a request for assistance from the appropriate authorities in India. Under para.6 Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Designated Countries and Territories) Order 1991 SI 1991/2873, this request was deemed to be authority for the CPS to apply for a restraint order on behalf of the Government of India. (2) The second ground failed as: (a) there was evidence to suggest that Q received substantial sums as a result of his involvement in the allegedly criminal course of conduct; (b) charges had been laid against Q in relation to such conduct; (c) the funds in issue represented part of the value of the proceeds of such conduct. Therefore there were reasonable grounds to believe that an external confiscation order might be made at some stage in the Indian proceedings. The Court of Special Judge and the High Court of Delhi had both found there was a prima facie case against Q which gave reasonable grounds for believing that the alleged offences were committed. Further the impugned conduct constituted indictable offences under English law of conspiracy to defraud and corruption. (3) The restraint order should not be discharged on the third ground. Any omissions in the application were not made in bad faith but as a consequence of the urgency with which it was necessary to act. (4) It was not for the CPS to make any judgment as to whether there were political considerations to be taken into account in deciding whether to respond to the request from the Indian authorities. The fourth ground failed.Application dismissed.
 EWHC 2814 (Admin)