The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) opposed the plea of the wife of former Interior Minister Anil Deshmukh, Aarti, challenging the provisional seizure of assets in an alleged money laundering case.
The ED, in its affidavit filed on Monday, opposes the continuation of the request by specifying that the questions raised in the request can be raised before the adjudicating authority which is seized of the question relating to the seizure of the assets under of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering. (PMLA).
ED attorney Sriram Shirsat told the divisional bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Madhav Jamdar that the investigative agency had raised a preliminary issue regarding the maintainability of the petition.
The affidavit further states that the Act provides statutory mechanisms for bringing the matter before the adjudicating authority.
In addition, the adjudicating authority closed the hearing and closed the case for order, ED said.
The HC, on December 10, had authorized the contracting authority to hear and pronounce final orders on the provisional seizure of the property of Deshmukh and his wife Aarti, but had prevented it from taking any coercive measures until January 10 2022.
The order was issued on Aarti’s request challenging the provisional seizure. Deshmukh is currently in judicial custody in this case.
Aarti’s attorneys, lead attorney Vikram Chaudhri and attorney Inderpal Singh, have claimed that the authority is supposed to include a chairman and two members, one of whom must have a legal background, which does not is not followed.
However, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the ED, argued that the single-member adjudicating authority has the power to hear the proceedings according to law.
The HC upheld the January 19 hearing request.
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Posted on: Monday January 10, 2022, 8:18 p.m. IST