Won't Insist on Senior Advocate Anand Grover's Appearance in NGO-PMLA Case: ED to Bombay HC
File photo of the Enforcement Directorate logo.
The ED on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that it would not insist on Senior Advocate Anand Grover to appear before it on November 26 pursuant to summons issued to him in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to NGO 'Lawyers Collective'. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik had on Tuesday asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to consider deferring the summons issued to Grover, keeping in mind the prevalent COVID-19 situation.
"The situation in Delhi (where Grover had to appear) is very serious," the court said on Wednesday while hearing two petitions filed by the NGO and Grover seeking to quash the 2019 complaint filed by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) over charges of violation of provisions of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA). Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the ED, told the court that the agency would not insist on the summons till December 14, by when it would also file its affidavit to the petitions.
The court accepted the statement and posted the pleas for further hearing on December 14. "The current proceedings instituted by the ED is a speculative roving and fishing inquiry," the petitions filed through advocate Rahul Kamerkar said.
Grover in his petition also challenged the summons issued against him by the ED earlier this month, asking him to appear before it on November 26. the ED had asked Grover to produce Lawyers Collective's records of foreign contributions received by the NGO.
As per the plea, in November 2016, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had cancelled the group's FCRA registration claiming irregularities. In June 2019, the CBI had registered an FIR against the group for alleged violation of FCRA provisions and on corruption charges. Thereafter, the ED had registered a complaint against the Lawyers Collective and Grover under the PMLA provisions.