March 2021 News

HC To ED: Don't Press For Mehbooba Mufti's Appearance

10 March 2021

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Enforcement Directorate not to press for former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's personal appearance in a money laundering case till the court hears her petition on March 18, her daughter said. The matter came up for hearing before a division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani. The matter was posted for March 18 with a direction to the ED not to press for her personal appearance on March 15. The PDP leader had challenged the validity of the summons issued by the ED for appearing before it on March 15 without specifying the case she was being investigated in. She asked the court to quash the summons, her daughter Iltija Mufti said. The summons was issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act but the case under which she was asked to appear was missing from the notice. In her petition before the High Court, Mehbooba said she had not been informed if she was being summoned as an accused or as a witness. 'The petitioner is not the subject of investigation, nor is she an accused, in any of the scheduled offences to the best of her knowledge,' it said. She alleged in her petition that since her release from preventive detention following the abrogation of Article 370, 'there have been a series of hostile acts by the state, against her, acquaintances and old family friends, who have all been summoned by the ED' 'The petitioner also wrote a letter to the Enforcement Directorate, inter alia, pointing to the roving nature of the inquiry undertaken in the case thus far and that in the event that she is questioned, she will insist on the legitimacy of the process,' the petition stated. The former Chief Minister also challenged the validity of Section 50 of the PMLA under which she had been summoned and said the section was in violation of Article 14 (equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India) and Article 21 (no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law).