Delhi High Court refuses to grant interim relief to Robert Vadra, Manoj Arora

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 25, 2019, 01.58 PM(IST)

File photo: Robert Vadra inside the Enforcement Directorate office. Photograph:( ANI )

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'The anticipatory bail plea is already being heard in the Patiala House court, hence, we will not interfere right now,' a division bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel said. 

The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief to accused Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora on their pleas seeking quashing of an FIR registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.

"The anticipatory bail plea is already being heard in the Patiala House court, hence, we will not interfere right now," a division bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel said. 

It directed the ED to furnish a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR)/FIR filed in Delhi against Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and his aide Arora.

The bench asked the agency to file a response to another prayer of the petitioners challenging the constitutional validity of certain sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

During the proceedings, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta questioned the maintainability of the petition, saying that the matter concerned is pending before the Supreme Court.

Mehta, appearing for the ED, told the court that Vadra and Arora`s pleas seeking quashing of the case against them is an abuse of the process of the law.

The court also sought a response from the Centre and then slated the matter for hearing on May 2. Vadra has challenged sections 3 (offence of money laundering), 19 (power to arrest), 24 (burden of proof) and 50 (powers of authorities regarding summons, production of documents and evidence, etc) of the PMLA.

Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and KTS Tulsi appeared for Vadra and Arora while Solicitor General Tusshar Mehta and advocate DP Singh represented the ED. 

On Wednesday, Vadra had moved the high court seeking quashing of an FIR registered by the ED in a money laundering case for which he has been interrogated by the agency.

Vadra, husband of Priyanka Gandhi, has also sought to declare certain sections of the PLMA, 2002 as ultra vires to the Constitution.

The money laundering case filed against Vadra is related to the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square, allegedly worth 1.9 million pounds.