The Delhi high court on Friday said it will pass orders on Monday on the plea of Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife, challenging the attachment proceedings being carried out by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) with regard to some of their assets.
Virbhadra and Pratibha Singh have sought stay on the provisional attachment order (PAO) of March 23 and the proceedings against them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the couple, argued that no provisional orders could be passed against them as no charge sheet has been filed in the CBI case against them and the matter involving their income tax returns was pending in the Supreme Court.
Sibal said the PAO was ordered by ED on the basis of the income tax department’s inquiries and investigation “which are under challenge and are not conclusive of any allegation” made against them.
“There is no material on record that my clients are trying to dispose of the properties that are provisionally attached by ED,” Sibal said, adding that he could give an undertaking that this clients will not deal in the properties.
Earlier, the HC had stayed further proceedings in the PMLA case against Virbhadra’s son and daughter pursuant to provisional attachment of some of their assets. Sibal sought a similar order for his clients.
However, additional solicitor general (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the ED, argued that the stay order in favour of Virbhadra’s children was passed as they were not named in the FIR under PMLA, while the couple has been.
Jain further contended that ED cannot stop acting on the basis of an undertaking as then everyone in such cases would start filing undertakings.
A bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice Jayant Nath has posted the case on Monday for pronouncement of its order on Vidbhadra’s plea.