New Delhi: Supreme Court judge, Justice K.V. Viswanathan on Monday announced that he was recusing himself from hearing the petitions relating to a case registered against the directors of Gurugram-based realty group M3M under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The Vacation Bench of Justices Abhay S. Oka and Viswanathan directed the Registry to place the matter before an appropriate bench on Tuesday.
The plea challenged the Delhi High Court verdict of June 16, wherein the Single-Judge Vacation Bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh had refused to interfere with the arrest of Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal, directors of M3M in connection with an alleged bribery case against a former judge and others.
During the course of the hearing, Justice Viswanathan indicated that he had appeared for the co-accused in connected matters arising out of the case.
Representing the Bansal brothers, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi quipped in a lighter vein that since Justice Viswanathan had appeared in many cases as a senior counsel, he would have to recuse from multiple matters.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested the Bansals on June 14. A Special court in Panchkula of Haryana had then sent them to five-day ED custody.
llegal detention, claims M3M Directors
The M3M Directors had argued that the custody amounted to illegal detention and was an effort to avoid the High Court’s orders granting them protection from coercive action in another money laundering case.
Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju appeared for the ED today.
Earlier this year, the M3M Directors were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Haryana Police in relation to an FIR registered against former Special Judge CBI/ED, Sudhir Parmar.
The national agency claimed that it had received information that Parmar was showing favouritism to the accused in the money laundering case regarding real estate firm IREO. As the ACB registered the case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had suspended Parmar.