ED case: Amnesty moves HC against accounts freeze
Amnesty International India Private Limited (AIIPL) approached the Delhi high court on Thursday against continuation of the freezing of its bank accounts by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
The plea, which was urgently mentioned on Thursday, is listed to be heard on Friday.
The money laundering case is based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR filed against AIIPL, Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT), Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) ,and Amnesty International South Asia Foundation (AISAF), under various sections of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and section 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy).
In its petition, the human rights organisation has said that 180 days of the provisional attachment order (PAO) that commenced from November 26, has expired and hence the proceedings cannot continue before the adjudicating authority.
The plea has said that despite the matter being concluded on May 25 after detailed arguments by the adjudicating authority, they received an email the same day from the adjudicating authority containing notice/ direction fixing a fresh date of hearing on May 28, in the original complaint before the authority.
“In view of the above, continuation of proceedings before the Respondent No. 3 Authority in the impugned OC, is illegal, without jurisdiction and contrary to the clear statutory mandate under the PMLA. Furthermore, it is settled law that an interim order passed by a superior court staying the operation/implementation or execution of a judgment does not in any manner diminish its value as a precedent,” the plea said.
Attaching over ₹17 crore deposits in February this year, the Enforcement Directorate stated, that both AIIPL and IAIT acquired he proceeds of crime and layered the same in the form of various movable properties.