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Directorate Enforcement and ANR

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Court :
ITAT New Delhi

Brief :
This petition raises an interesting question of the effect of the lockdown declared by the Central Government due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the period of the Provisional Attachment Orders passed under Section 5(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act').

Citation :
W.P.(C) 3551/2020 & 12626/2020

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Reserved on: 08.09.2020
Date of Decision: 18.11.2020

W.P.(C) 3551/2020 & 12626/2020
M/S VIKAS WSP LTD. & ORS. ..... Petitioners
Through: 
Mr.Dayan Krishnan, Sr. Adv. with Mr.Arshdeep Singh, Mr.Akshat Gupta, Mr.Sanjeevi Seshadri, Ms.Rajshree Sharma, Advs.

versus

DIRECTORATE ENFORCEMENT & ANR. ..... Respondents
Through: 
Mr.Amit Mahajan, CGSC with Ms.Mallika Hiremath and Mr.Atul Tripathi, Advs.

CORAM:
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE NAVIN CHAWLA

1. This petition raises an interesting question of the effect of the lockdown declared by the Central Government due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the period of the Provisional Attachment Orders passed under Section 5(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act').

BRIEF FACTS:

2. The respondent no. 1, in exercise of its powers under Section 5(1) of the Act, passed a Provisional Attachment Order dated 13.11.2019, provisionally attaching certain properties of the petitioners amounting to
Rs. 52,21,16,797/-, for a period of 180 days from the date of the said order.

3. The respondent no.1 thereafter, in terms of Section 5(5) of the Act, filed a complaint, being OC No.1228/2019, before the Adjudicating Authority on 05.12.2019.

4. The Adjudicating Authority, on 18.12.2019, issued a Show Cause Notice under Section 8(1) of the Act to the petitioners. However, before the proceedings could be concluded, on 23.03.2020, the Government of India declared a nationwide lockdown with effect from 24.03.2020 due to the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

5. The lockdown declared by the Government of India was partially lifted on 20.04.2020 and the Adjudicating Authority, admittedly, began functioning in a restricted manner thereafter.

6. On 26.05.2020, the Adjudicating Authority issued the Impugned Notice/Summons to the petitioners by way of an e-mail, indicating the next date of hearing in the complaint to be 16.06.2020.

7. The petitioners filed the present petition on 15.06.2020 claiming therein that as the period of 180 days from the date of the Provisional Attachment Orders had expired, in terms of Section 5(3) of the Act, the said order ceased to have effect and therefore, the Adjudicating Authority had become functus officio and the proceedings in the complaint cannot proceed. Following prayers have been made in the petition:

To know more in details find the attachment file
 

 

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on 24 November 2020
Published in LAW
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