Filed plea in SC to transfer Mehbooba Mufti’s petition in PMLA case: Centre tells HC

Filed plea in SC to transfer Mehbooba Mufti’s petition in PMLA case: Centre tells HC
PDP President MehboobaFile/ GK

New Delhi: The Centre Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it had filed a plea before the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba’s Mufti’s petition which challenges the constitutional validity of a provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The counsel representing the Centre told a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh that the transfer petition was likely to come up for hearing before the apex court within a week - on October 29.

The HC listed the matter for further hearing on December 23.

The Centre had earlier told the court that several petitions concerning various provisions and schemes of PMLA were pending in the Supreme Court and the matter had been assigned to a special bench and parties had exchanged certain queries, one of which was directly in question here.

The Centre had said that it intended to move a transfer petition so that the matters could be done together.

It had said that the questions before the Supreme Court included issues concerning the commencement of investigation under PMLA.

Former J&K chief minister Mufti, in her plea filed in March, had sought to declare Section 50 of the PMLA as void and inoperative, being unfairly discriminatory, bereft of safeguards, and violating Article 20(3) of the constitution.

Section 50 of the act empowers the authority – the officers of ED - to summon any person to give evidence or produce records.

According to it, all persons summoned are bound to answer the questions put to them and to produce the documents as required by the ED officers, failing which they could be penalised under the act.

She has also challenged issuance of summons to her by the ED in a money laundering case and sought a stay which was refused by the court earlier.

The 61-year-old leader, who was released last year after more than a year in detention following the scrapping of J&K’s special status, was served notice to appear at the ED headquarters in New Delhi.

Initially, the ED had summoned Mufti for March 15 but it did not insist for her personal appearance at that time.

Thereafter, she was summoned for March 22.

Mufti, in her petition, said she had received summons from the ED under the provisions of the PMLA, purporting to call for “evidence” on pain of punishment, whereas she was, to all intents and purposes, a subject of investigation.

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