The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on a plea by controversial businessman Moin Akhtar Qureshi challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case. The Centre opposed the plea saying questioning of his arrest was an “abuse” of the legal process, claiming there were serious charges of hawala transactions against him.
A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and P S Teji heard the arguments of the counsel for Qureshi, the Centre and the ED and said it would pass an order on the habeas corpus plea.
A habeas corpus plea is a petition which is filed to ensure that a person under arrest is brought before a court which will determine whether the detention is legal.
Qureshi’s counsel has said the meat exporter should be released from “illegal custody” and his liberty be restored forthwith.
The government has also refuted Qureshi’s allegations that he was unauthorisedly detained by the ED in the money laundering case, saying he was arrested under statutory provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and remanded to ED custody by a competent trial court.
Qureshi was arrested on August 25 and sent to ED custody by the trial court the next day for thorough probe in the case against him and others. He is presently in judicial custody.
The agency had claimed that “the witnesses have confirmed in their statements that they have delivered crores of rupees for Qureshi and his associates through his employees and one of the witnesses has stated that nearly Rs 1.75 crore have been exported by the accused from him and his friend in lieu of the help provided to him in a CBI case.”
Qureshi has been questioned several times in the past by ED which is probing his role following the registration of two FIRs under the PMLA, it has said, adding that he was arrested in connection with offence alleged in the last FIR in which former CBI chief Singh has also been named.
The earlier PMLA case against Qureshi was lodged by the ED in 2015, based on an I-T prosecution complaint, it said.