New Delhi, November 17
The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed the proceedings against Hero Motocorp chairman Pawan Kant Munjal in a money-laundering case probed by the Enforcement Directorate.
Issuing notice to the ED on Munjal’s petition, Justice Saurabh Banerjee posted the matter for further hearing on March 21.
A similar stay order was recently passed on the predicate offence under the Customs Act and the petitioner has been exonerated by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in that matter, the HC noted. “Accordingly, there shall be a stay of proceedings under the ECIR,” it added.
Justice Banerjee, however, clarified that the stay was in relation to the petitioner only and the ED was free to proceed further according to law.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had filed a prosecution complaint last year on charges of allegedly “carrying, attempting to export and illicit export of prohibited items, that is, foreign currency” against Munjal, a third party service provider company called SEMPL and individuals identified as Amit Bali, Hemant Dahiya, K R Raman and some others.
DRI, an investigation arm of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), filed a charge sheet before a Delhi court under Section 135 of the Customs Act (evasion of duty or prohibitions) in the case.
Subsequently, ED registered the present case under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Highlighting that the high court stayed the proceedings in the DRI matter on November 3, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the petitioner, on Friday argued that when the proceedings in the DRI case i.e the predicate offence has been stayed, the money laundering case cannot go on.
The ED counsel opposed the petition on the ground that it was not maintainable and was premature. He said money laundering was a separate offence, which can be probed even if there was a stay order in the predicate offence.
Recently, ED alleged that Munjal used foreign currency issued in the name of others for his personal expenditure abroad to “override” RBI rules and attached his assets worth Rs 24.95 crore as part of a money laundering investigation. —with PTI inputs
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Light at the end of tunnel: All 41 trapped workers rescued in Uttarakhand; President Murmu, PM Modi laud rescuers, workers
17-day rescue mission involved over 200 experts from various...
Rat-hole mining explained: Controversial technique that comes to rescue of 41 workers trapped in Uttarakhand tunnel
National Green Tribunal in 2014 imposed a ban on coal mining...
41 workers were trapped in under-construction tunnel on Diwa...
Prime Minister salutes spirit of all the people associated w...
Petitioner contended that engaging Pakistani artistes would ...