The Delhi high court on Friday declined to stay the proceedings with regard to confirming the provisional attachment of bank accounts of NGO Amnesty International, but said that any final order passed in the matter would not be implemented without leave of the court.
Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to ED and sought its stand on the NGO’s plea contending that the provisional attachment order (PAO) of November 26 last year was valid for only 180 days and that period expired on May 25 and therefore, it has lapsed as it was not confirmed by the adjudicating authority set up under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
At the outset, the court made it clear that it will not pass any interim order staying the proceedings on global human rights watchdog Amnesty’s plea challenging the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) November 2020 order provisionally attaching some of its bank accounts and fixed deposits.
However, it said that any final order passed by the adjudicating authority would not be given effect without leave of the high court.
Under the PMLA, a PAO has to be confirmed within 180 days by the adjudicating authority.
The money laundering case of the ED is based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR filed against Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL), Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT), Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) and Amnesty International South Asia Foundation (AISAF) that was filed under various sections of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and the section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (which denotes criminal conspiracy).