SNC-Lavalin challenges ED’s summons

The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file an affidavit in response to a petition filed by SNC-Lavalin Engineering India Private Ltd., Mumbai, seeking to quash the summons issued in connection with the probe into the SNC Lavalin deal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The company in its petition pointed out that the CBI had investigated the case relating to the contracts executed between the company and the government for the renovation and modernisation of three hydroelectric projects of Pallivasal, Sengulam and Panniar and filed a chargesheet in 2009.

In fact, all the allegations against the company related to the period prior to January 17, 2003, that is, before the commencement of the PMLA. Therefore, the transactions that took place during the period did not come under the purview of the PMLA.

The petition said the company has no role whatsoever to play with the contracts and the transactions that took place between 1995 and 1998. In fact, these transactions were directly handled by the company from Canada.

The petitioner company was neither subjected to an investigation by the DRI nor was made an accused in the chargesheet filed by the CBI in 2009. The company contended that the summons had been issued mischievously and in the colourable exercise of the powers vested in the ED, seemingly with an ulterior motive, disregarding the total lack of power to issue the summons. Therefore, the action of the ED was arbitrary and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner sought to declare that the PMLA was not applicable to the case.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 4:16:03 PM |

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