Delhi HC denies relief to man seeking copy of ECIR in money laundering case

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 Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court has declined to provide relief to an individual who sought a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in a money laundering case.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has declined to provide relief to an individual who sought a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in a money laundering case.

The court said that it cannot impede the investigative process of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at the stage of summons issuance under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma dismissed the plea filed by Amit Katyal, who was not named as an accused in the land-for-job scam case.

Katyal had sought the quashing of the ECIR and a summon issued by the ED and wanted to prevent the probe agency from taking any coercive action against him, including further investigation in the money laundering case.

He expressed his concerns, particularly after recent ED raids on his premises, that he might be arrested in connection with the ECIR if he complied with the summons he received.

The court noted that Katyal had cooperated in the investigation and was not an accused in the predicate offense.

However, he had been repeatedly summoned by the ED due to his business transactions with the family members of RJD chief Lalu Yadav.

Rejecting the plea, Justice Sharma stated that Katyal had joined the investigation on multiple occasions in the past, and no compelling grounds were presented to justify quashing the contested summon.

The court said that it cannot obstruct the investigative process at the summons issuance stage.

Additionally, regarding the request to quash the ECIR, the court considered it premature, as Katyal had not provided a copy of the ECIR, and it is not mandatory for the ED to furnish a copy of ECIR to the person under investigation.

The court also clarified that the power to issue summons under Section 50 of the PMLA is distinct from the power to arrest under Section 19 of the PMLA. Issuance of a summons for the purpose of joining an investigation and providing evidence or documents does not necessarily imply that the person summoned will be arrested.

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