Millennium Post

HC grants time to ED to file response on maintainability of Robert Vadra's plea

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted more time to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file an affidavit regarding the maintainability of Robert Vadra's plea seeking quashing of a money laundering case in which he was questioned by the probe agency.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel directed the ED to file the response within a week and listed the matter for further hearing on July 18. The court asked Vadra and his close aide Manoj Arora to file their rejoinder to the ED's affidavit in two weeks thereafter.

Central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan, appearing for the ED, said the short affidavit was almost ready and they require some more time to file it. The court had earlier on March 25 asked the probe agency to file its response in the form of an affidavit regarding the maintainability of two separate but similar petitions by Vadra and Arora within two weeks.

The ED had opposed Vadra's plea, saying it was not maintainable as he "wilfully suppressed" material facts from the court.

It had contended that the plea of Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was an abuse of process of law. When he feared that "law will catch him, he challenged the PMLA provisions", it had added. The ED case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds. The property is allegedly owned by Vadra.

Vadra has also sought that various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, be declared unconstitutional.

Vadra has sought in his plea that Sections 3, 17, 19, 24, 44 and 50 of the PMLA be declared ultra vires or unconstitutional.

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