New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to stay the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) attachment proceedings against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, however, said the final order of the adjudicating authority in the attachment proceedings would not be given effect to till their pleas challenging the provisional attachment are decided by the high court.
The couple had sought a stay on ED’s March 23 order to provisionally attach some of their properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Virbhadra Singh and his wife had 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.
They had argued that the court had stayed further proceedings in the PMLA case against their son and daughter pursuant to provisional attachment of some of their assets and sought a similar order in the instant case.
The bench, denying same relief to the couple, said that their children were not named in the FIR.
The ED had also 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 chargesheet 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 Singh and his family members.