NEW DELHI: PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti has approached Delhi High Court seeking quashing of ED summons requiring her to appear before it on March 15 in connection with a money laundering case.
She has also challenged constitutional vires of Section 50 and any incidental provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
Mufti after receiving the notice of summons had also tweeted on March 5 and said, "GOIs tactics to intimidate & browbeat political opponents to make them toe their line has become tediously predictable. They don't want us to raise questions about its punitive actions & policies. Such short sighted scheming won't work."
GOIs tactics to intimidate & browbeat political opponents to make them toe their line has become tediously predictable.They don’t want us to raise questions about its punitive actions & policies. Such short sighted scheming wont work .— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) March 5, 2021
Section 50 of the PMLA empowers the 'authority' i.e., officers of the Enforcement Directorate, to summon any person to give evidence or produce records. All persons summoned are bound to answer questions put to them, and to produce the documents as required by the ED officers, failing which they can be penalised under the PMLA.
Mehbooba Mufti is the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, and President of the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP),
Her petition states that she has not been informed if she is being summoned as an accused or as a witness. She has also not been informed of what she is being summoned in connection with, and the scheduled offence under the PMLA which gave rise to the proceedings in respect of which summons has been issued to her.
The plea added that the petitioner (Mehbooba Mufti) is not the subject of investigation, nor is she an accused, in any of the scheduled offences under the PMLA, to the best of her knowledge. Ever since the petitioner was released from preventive detention following the formal 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 and a roving inquiry about her personal, political and financial affairs was made, in the course of which their personal devices have been seized.
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.
Mufti through petition also states that "As a responsible member of society, the petitioner is always ready and willing to aid the process of law. However, it is equally her duty to bring to the notice of this Court, deviations from due process in legislative and executive acts." The Petitioner apprehends that the impugned summons is a means of bringing undue pressure and harassment upon her and therefore, the petitioner wishes to assert her constitutional rights in this regard.