Delhi High Court refuses to stay summon issued to Mehbooba Mufti by ED

Srinagar, Mar 19 : The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in a money-laundering case.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh refused to issue any stay.  Appearing for Mufti, Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan urged the Court to pass a direction to the agency to not insist on Mufti’s presence, Bar and Bench reported

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader’s appearance before the ED is now due for March 22.

In the petition, Mufti has challenged the summons as well as the constitutional validity of Section 50 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Issuance of notice in the petition was opposed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who stated that the ED would file a note on the issues raised in the petition.

The Court accordingly directed Enforcement Directorate to file a note along with compilation of judgments and listed the matter for hearing on April 16.

Mufti received summons from an officer of the ED on March 5 under Section 50(2) and (3) of the PMLA, purporting to call for “evidence” in connection with a case registered by it.

As per the summons, Mufti has to reportedly appear before the ED on March 22.Earlier this month, the Agency had told the Court that it would not insist on Mufti’s presence before it till today.

In her petition, Mufti has argued that neither was she the subject of investigation nor was she an accused in any of the scheduled offences.

Further, it was also not informed whether she was being summoned as an accused or as a witness, the plea has contended.

Section 50, Mufti has submitted, is in violation of Article 20(3) of the Constitution. kns

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