Free Press Journal

HC reserves order on Virbhadra Singh’s children plea


New Delhi: Delhi High Court today reserved for April 26 its order on the plea filed by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s two children challenging the ED’s provisional attachment order of some of their assets in connection with a money laundering case.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, however, said the March 23 provisional attachment order (PAO) would continue till April 26. “Call for order on April 26. Till such time, the impugned provisional attachment order shall continue,” the bench said.

During the hearing, senior advocate Amit Sibal, appearing for Virbhadra’s daughter Aparajita Kumari and son Vikramaditya Singh, questioned the PAO saying such action cannot be taken in the absence of a charge sheet against his clients.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), opposed the plea saying it was “pre-mature” as the agency has filed a complaint before its adjudicating authority which would take a call on it.

“The PAO was reasoned. This is not a case to grant any interim order,” he said. During the hearing, the bench asked, “What is the effect of the provisional attachment? How does it affect the party?” Responding to the query, the ASG said, “they cannot sell the properties which have been provisionally attached.”

ED, in its affidavit, has sought dismissal of the plea, saying the “purpose of attachment under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 needs to be seen. All attached properties have been found to be prima-facie involved in the offence of the money laundering.”