Gautam Navlakha
Gautam Navlakha
File photo

Mumbai, June 30: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday permitted the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to record the statement of journalist and activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in custody in the Elgaar Parishad - Bhima Koregaon case, in connection with a money laundering case related to news portal Newsclick.

The court has allowed the agency to record the statement in Taloja jail where Navlakha is in custody in the former case. It has been allowed to visit the prison on four specific dates for the purpose.

A day earlier, special public prosecutor for the ED Kavita Patil had approached the special court seeking that it be allowed to record the statement of Navlakha under Sec 50(2) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Under this provision, an officer of the rank of a director, additional director among other high ranking officers, has the power to summon a person whose attendance he considers necessary, to give evidence or produce any records during the course of a probe or proceeding under the Act. The court had scheduled to hear the plea on Wednesday on the point of its maintainability.

The ED is probing news portal NewsClick and its directors for irregularities in remittances received by it from abroad between March 2018 and March 2020. The portal paid over Rs. 20.53 lakhs to Navlakha, from his money, which it claims to be paid as salary.

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