Mehbooba Mufti news: The Delhi High Court today (November 30) allowed the withdrawal of the plea filed by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti challenging the vires of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The plea filed by former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti was allowed the withdrawal by the Delhi High Court.
The Bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on Wednesday allowed the withdrawal of the plea after noting down the submission of Mufti's lawyer that the client has wished to withdraw the present petition. The plea was moved by Mufti in March 2021.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court had refused to grant a stay on ED notice against Mehbooba Mufti. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had appeared for ED and the Union of India had submitted that Mehbooba Mufti has to appear before the agency. 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 earlier 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.
Initially, the ED had summoned Mufti for March 15, 2021 but it did not insist on her personal appearance at that time. Thereafter, she was summoned for March 22, 2021. Mufti, in her petition, said she has received summons from the ED under the provisions of the PMLA, purporting to call for 'evidence' on pain of punishment, whereas she is, to all intents and purposes, a subject of investigation.
The plea claimed ever since Mufti was released from preventive detention following abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, there has been a series of hostile acts by the State, against her, 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.
The ED, it alleged, seized their personal electronic devices in the course of inquiry.
The Centre had told the high court last year it has filed a plea before the Supreme Court seeking transfer of Mufti's petition to the top court as several pleas concerning various provisions and scheme of PMLA were pending there.
(With agencies inputs)