PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti
Image source: ANI

Hours after the PDP announced its decision to stay away from the proceedings of the Delimitation Commission, the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday served a notice on the mother of its president Mehbooba Mufti asking her appear at the agency's office here on July 14 in connection with a money laundering case.

According to the notice, posted by Mehbooba on her official Twitter account, her mother Gulshan Nazir has been asked to appear before the central probe agency at its office in Srinagar.

The criminal case filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is linked to the recovery of at least two diaries by the ED after raids on an alleged associate of Mehbooba, a former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister.

The diaries contain details of some purported payments made from the chief minister's discretionary fund in alleged contravention of rules, officials said.

These funds are alleged to have been diverted during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rule in the erstwhile state.

A few lakh rupees from these funds are alleged to have been transferred into the accounts of Nazir and some others, and the ED wants to question her about it, the officials said.

Nazir is the wife of the late Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Mehbooba was questioned by the ED in March this year in connection with a separate money laundering case.

The Jammu and Kashmir CID department had earlier filed adverse reports against Mehbooba and her mother in response to their passport renewal applications.

Mehbooba, 62, expressed surprise that the notice was served on her mother on the day her PDP decided not to meet the Delimitation Commission, set up to redraw Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.

On the summon, Mehbooba said, "ED sent a summon to my mother to appear in person for unknown charges. In its attempts to intimidate political opponents, GOI (Government of India) doesn't even spare senior citizens. Agencies like NIA (National Investigation Agency) and ED are now its tools to settle scores." The notice came hours after her party decided not to meet the Delimitation Commission, saying the body lacks "constitutional and legal mandate" and is part of the overall process of political disempowerment of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a two-page letter written to Ranjana Desai, a retired Supreme Court judge heading the panel, general secretary of the party Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said the PDP has decided to stay away from the delimitation process and not be part of "some exercise, the outcome which is widely believed to be pre-planned and which may further hurt the interests of our people".

The letter started off with highlighting the August 5, 2019 revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two union territories by the Centre.

It said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been "robbed of their legitimate constitutional and democratic rights" by the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution "illegally and unconstitutionally".

"...We are of the considered opinion that the Delimitation Commission lacks the constitutional and legal mandate in the first place and its very existence and objectives have left every ordinary resident of J-K with many questions," the letter, which was e-mailed and personally delivered, said.

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