Delhi HC seeks ED’s reply on PFI’s plea

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) response to a plea by the Kerala-based Popular Front of India (PFI) challenging a money laundering case registered by the agency in 2018.

Justice Anu Malhotra granted four weeks to the ED to submit its reply.

PFI lawyer Adit Pujari claimed that over 150 summonses had been received by several of its members from across the country for a “roving and fishing inquiry” in the case.

Counsel said the present money laundering case by the ED arose from a National Investigation Agency (NIA) case concerning the alleged training of youth in Kerala for carrying out anti-national activities in 2013.

The NIA had alleged that the training was being given with an intention to prepare them for terrorist activities and to “commit acts endangering the unity and integrity of the nation”.

Mr. Pujari said while the trial court convicted certain persons for offences under the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Explosives Act, the High Court concerned had later dropped the UAPA charges against the accused.

He said that when the High Court acquitted the accused of offences under the UAPA and gave a finding that there were no anti-national activities, there was no reason for the ED to proceed against the petitioner. Mr. Pujari also claimed that the ED was not following the Supreme Court’s directions with respect to the installation of CCTV cameras at places of interrogation.

ED’s counsel Amit Mahajan, however, said the agency was complying with the apex court’s directive in letter and in spirit.

The High Court said it “expected that the CCTV cameras of the respondent [ED] will remain functional at the time of recording of statements”. The hearing will continue on February 4.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:42:44 AM |

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