The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on the plea filed by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti challenging the vires of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The matter was adjourned at the request of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. The hearing would now take place on August 13.
During the course of the hearing, Chief Justice D N Patel questioned Mufti’s counsel and senior advocate, Nitya Ramakrishnan, if her client had appeared before the ED as summons were issued against her.
“Yes, Milords, my client had appeared before the ED as no protection was granted to me by the court,” Mehbooba’s lawyer told the Court.
Earlier the Delhi High Court had refused to grant a stay on ED notice against Mehbooba Mufti. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for ED and the Union of India had submitted that Mehbooba Mufti has to appear before the agencies.
Along with the notice issued to her, Mufti had also challenged constitutional vires of Section 50, and any incidental provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”).
Mehbooba Mufti after receiving the notice had tweeted, “GOIs tactics to intimidate & browbeat political opponents to make them toe their line has become tediously predictable. They don’t want us to raise questions about its punitive actions and policies. Such short-sighted scheming won’t work”.
Section 50 of the PMLA empowers the ‘authority’ i.e., officers of the Enforcement Directorate, to summon any person to give evidence or produce records. All persons summoned are bound to answer questions put to them, and to produce the documents as required by the ED officers, failing which they can be penalised under the PMLA.
The Petitioner Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, and President of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP).