Virbhadra’s plea seeking quashing of money laundering case rejected

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s plea seeking quashing of a money laundering case against him.

The High Court rejected the plea seeking quashing of proceedings registered by Enforcement Directorate under Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA).

The bench of Justice RK Gauba said the plea against his possible arrest and attachment cannot be allowed.

It would be wrong if not naive to consider cognizable case so simplistically.Mere classification of offence as cognizable would not conference right of arrest on the police officer. Meaning of “cognizable” needs to be seen. Authority of arrest remains subject to restricts under law. Cognizable cannot have static meaning. Only because there are prerequisites to arrest in cognizable case, it does not mean that empowered agency cannot investigate without authorisation of a court. PMLA offences are different from general offences. PMLA is a special code, establishes own authorities with adjudicatory powers,” the bench observed.

The High Court also informed that the Enforcement Directorate has the authority to arrest and freeze assets in a cognizable case.

The Enforcement Directorate had filed the case after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked him on disproportionate assets charges.

The High Court bench had earlier said plea against possible arrest and attachment cannot be allowed.

The CBI had in March filed a chargesheet against Singh, his wife and seven others for allegedly accumulating assets of over 10 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income. An FIR by the CBI was registered in 2015. (ANI)