New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved, for May 30, its order on a plea of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh challenging Enforcement Directorate (ED) order to provisionally attach some of their properties in a money laundering case.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath reserved the order after hearing the arguments of both parties on the stay application of the ED’s provisional attachment order of March 23 issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Virbhadra and his wife, said the final order of the authority was expected to be passed on May 31 despite the undertaking that he would not deal in the properties provisionally attached.
He said that the court had stayed further proceedings in the PMLA case against Virbhadra’s son and daughter pursuant to provisional attachment of some of their assets and sought a similar order in the instant case.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for ED, told the court that the stay order in favour of Virbhadra’s children was passed as they were not named in the FIR under PMLA, while the couple has been named in the FIR.
The petitioners said the ED attached Pratibha’s assets valued at Rs.5,79,84,989 and Virbhadra’s assets worth Rs.1,34,64,609.
Both said there is “no charge sheet in the present case against anyone” and that the ED exceeded its jurisdiction.
The plea said the ED decision was based on Income Tax department’s inquiries and investigation, which were themselves under challenge.
In November 2015, the ED registered a case under the PMLA at its New Delhi office against Virbhadra and his family members.