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Friday, December 9, 2022

Alleged money laundering cases: Mehbooba doesn’t appear before Indian probe agency

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate at its headquarters in the Indian capital New Delhi in a money laundering case, citing that she had prior commitments that could not be cancelled.


However, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said she is ready and willing to be questioned in Srinagar, preferably at her residence or through video conference.


The 61-year-old leader, who was released last year after more than a year in detention following the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, was served a notice to appear at the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) headquarters in Delhi.


On March 19, the Delhi High Court had refused to stay the summons issued to her after she moved the court seeking quashing of the summons in the case.


The ED, which had earlier summoned Mehbooba on March 15, had not insisted on her personal appearance at that time.


“I write to you in reference to the summons issued to me to be present at your Delhi office on March 22. I have challenged in the Delhi High Court the constitutional vires of Section 50 of the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), under which these summonses are issued,” she said in a letter to the ED.


The PDP leader said that without prejudice to any of the contentions in the proceedings before the high court, “I state that I am not in a position to attend the summon on 22nd March as I have prior commitments that cannot be cancelled at such short notice”.


“If however, you insist we must do it sooner, I am ready and willing to be questioned in Srinagar, preferably at my residence or through video conference from Srinagar,” Mehbooba said in her letter.


She also demanded necessary material and documentation which would enable her to assess the subject matter of the summons.


“I am completely in the dark as to what this summons is about and what the scheduled offence is that has given rise to these proceedings. In the event that you are unable to accede to one or more of these requests, I urge you to pass reasoned orders in respect of such requests,” Mehbooba said.


She said her response to the summons does not in any manner mean that “I accept its legality or that I have waived any of my contentions on the vires of Section 50 of the PMLA or the summons sent to me purportedly under that provision or any objections I may have in law to the use of any statement in that regard”.

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