The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside the order of the PMLA Appellate Tribunal which directed the ED to de-seal a property of former Haryana CM Om Prakash Singh Chautala from November 23 to December 7 for the marriage of the Chautala’s two grandsons. Meanwhile, a detailed order will be released by the court pertaining to the matter.
The division bench of Justice Daya Chaudhary and Justice Meenakshi I Mehta, while setting aside the order of Appellate Tribunal of Delhi, held, “In spite of the specific directions passed by this court, still stereotype order has been passed, which is not in accordance with the provisions of the PMLA and Rules 2013”.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging the order of Appellate Tribunal Prevention and Money Laundering Act, New Delhi, had filed an appeal at the High Court, contending through their Senior Standing counsel Arvind Moudgil that the order to de-seal the proceeds of crime and hand over the same to the money launderer for use is against the statutory provisions, aims and objectives of PMLA.
The HC bench said, “The parties were directed to appear before the Appellate Tribunal through their counsel on 18.11.2020 but without going through the relevant record and without giving any opportunity, the application was decided on 18.11.2020 itself. Though the relevant provisions of PMLA and Rules 2013 have been quoted yet there is no appreciation of the same. Meaning thereby, impugned order dated 18.11.2020 is totally against the provisions of the PMLA and Rules, 2013. The Tribunal has adjourned the main appeal for 21.01.2021 but the application for interim relief has been decided/allowed by discussing the merits of the main case”.
“…Strong observations were made in the remand order stating that discretionary power was required to be based upon appreciation of provisions of the statute and its applicability, which includes non-compliance thereof. Even for passing an interim order, the reasons are required to be given. In spite of the specific directions passed by this Court, still stereotype order has been passed, which is not only non-speaking but not in accordance with the provisions of the PMLA and Rules 2013..,” read the HC order while setting aside the order of Appellate Tribunal.
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