The hearing in two separate money laundering cases allegedly involving Virbhadra Singh's wife and daughter and mining baron J Sekar Reddy was today adjourned till September 14 by the Delhi High Court which was informed by the ED that the Supreme Court is seized of the matter relating to the challenge to certain provisions of the money laundering law.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said its power to arrest an accused under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act has been challenged before the apex court and urged the high court to adjourn the hearing on the batch of petitions which also challenge various provisions of the PMLA.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher listed the matter for hearing on September 14.
Central government standing counsel Vinod Diwakar and Amit Mahajan, appearing for the ED, submitted that the decision of the Supreme Court will have a direct bearing on the cases pending before the high court and it should be heard after the apex court decides the issue.
The high court was to hear the maintainability of a batch of 19 petitions in two separate money laundering cases allegedly involving Virbhadra Singh's wife Pratibha Singh, daughter Aprajita Singh and mining baron and former Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) Board member J Sekar Reddy and his business associates S Ramachandran and K Rethinam.
The various accused in the two separate cases have challenged the ED's FIR against them, provisional attachment orders regarding their assets and all further proceedings.
A division bench of the high court had earlier referred the matter to the single judge after upholding the validity of a clause in the PMLA which empowers the ED to provisionally attach the properties bought from proceeds of crime.
The bench had rejected the pleas of the accused challenging the constitutional validity of the provision.
While hearing ED's plea challenging the interim relief from arrest granted by the high court to Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case, the apex court had said it would clear the "confusion" which has crept in due to divergent views of different high courts on ED's power to arrest.
The apex court also transferred to itself the matters pending before the Delhi High Court relating to the power of the ED to arrest in money laundering cases.
The ED had registered a case against the sand mining baron Reddy and others soon after the CBI booked them for possessing Rs 33 crore in new denomination of Rs 2,000, barely a month after demonetisation in November 2016.
After the accused were released on bail as the CBI failed to file charge sheet within the mandatory 90-day period, the ED arrested them on charges of money laundering. The Madras High Court had granted conditional bail to Reddy and others.
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