Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Delhi High Court to take up Mehbooba Mufti’s challenge to constitutional validity of PMLA today

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The Delhi High Court will continue on Friday its hearing on petition by former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, challenging the constitutional validity of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was informed on the previous occasion about the appearance of Ms Mufti before the Enforcement Directorate in compliance with the summons issued against her in connection with a money laundering case, after the Bench refused to grant stay on the summons. 

The plea by People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti, moved in March, 2021, challenged Section 50 of the PMLA Act, which gives powers to authorities regarding summons, production of documents and to give evidence; and sought a stay on the summon issued by the Enforcement Directorate.

After receiving the notice of summon, Ms Mufti had, on March 5, 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 & policies. Such short-sighted scheming won’t work”.The plea stated that she has not been informed if she is being summoned as an accused or as a witness. She has also not been informed of what she is being summoned in connection with, and the scheduled offence under the PMLA which gave rise to the proceedings in respect of which summons has been issued to her.The plea further stated that Mufti is not the subject of investigation, nor is she an accused, in any of the scheduled offences under the PMLA, to the best of her knowledge.

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The plea averred that ever since Ms Mufti was released from the preventive detention following the formal abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, there have been a series of hostile acts by the State against her, acquaintances and old family friends, who have all been summoned by the ED and a roving inquiry about her personal, political and financial affairs was made, in the course of which their personal devices have been seized.

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