Farooq Abdullah challenges ED order attaching his properties

Farooq Abdullah challenges ED order attaching his properties

Srinagar: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has approached the Jammu and Kashmir High Court against an Enforcement Directorate order attaching his properties worth nearly Rs 12 crore in a case of alleged money laundering. The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister challenged the December 2020 order before the high court on Wednesday. It is scheduled to come up for hearing later Friday.

The ED has alleged that Abdullah "misused" his position as president of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) from 2001-2011 and made appointments in the sports body so Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sponsored funds could be laundered.

Abdullah said the list of properties attached by the ED in Kashmir and in Jammu were unrelated to the alleged criminal activity mentioned in the Final Report/FIR and termed it a "continuing violation of his fundamental rights".

According to party MP Hasnain Masoodi, the properties were either ancestral or acquired before the alleged offence took place and were therefore not involved in any money-laundering or related criminal activity.

Abdullah raised the validity of the ED in the case. He said in his petition that on the date of the registration of the ECIR (Enforcement Commission Information Report) and the initiation of investigation, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was governed by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, 1956, and had special status under Article 370 of the Constitution of India.

He said the ED registered the case on December 28, 2018, under the Ranbir Penal Code (the Indian Penal Code's substitute in the erstwhile state) without ascertaining whether it had any jurisdiction to do so.

On December 19, 2020 the ED issued a provisional order attaching the properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). An appeal could be filed before the adjudicating authority of the PMLA within a six-month.

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