The Supreme Court Friday stayed the proceeding undertaken by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to provisionally attach Sun TV network’s assets worth Rs 742 crore in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
A bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu, however, clarified that the period of 180 days, stipulated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to conclude proceedings to attach assets after issuance of a notice, will not expire during the pendency of a petition by Sun TV.
The top court is already seized of a petition by Sun TV, arguing the prosecution against it cannot be carried out as the Aircel-Maxis deal was not linked to 2G spectrum scam cases at all. It has challenged the criminal proceedings against it as a part of the 2G probe.
Anand Grover, special prosecutor in 2G cases, complained that the adjudicating authority in the ED had gone ahead with prosecution orders even after he wrote to the department to hold back its hands since the matter was pending before the Supreme Court.
The bench said the authority was required to show some “judicial discipline” and should not have passed orders when the main case was pending before it.