Source: Inhouse illustration
Source: Inhouse illustration

SC protects Raghav Bahl from ED's coercive action

One-liner: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted protection to media baron Raghav Bahl from any coercive action of the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case lodged against him.

Crux of the matter: The Delhi High Court, which on Dec 3, had issued notice to the ED on Bahl's plea seeking quashing of the case, however, had refused to pass any order of interim protection to him.

  • The bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana after taking note of the submissions of senior advocate Vikas Singh who represented the case of Bahl ordered tagging of the fresh appeal of Bahl with the pending one

ED given time to respond: On Dec 3, the HC had granted three weeks to the ED to file its response to the petition which, besides seeking quashing of the money laundering case, has also challenged the notices issued to Bahl by the investigating officer 

Need to know: The I-T Dept had initiated proceedings against the petitioner under Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act of 2015 for irregularities in the returns filed for the year 2018-2019.

  • Bahl's lawyer had added that while the challenge to black money proceedings was pending before the SC, which has earlier given him protection from coercive action in that case, the ED has been issuing notices to him

Probe can't be stalled: The ED had said that the issue of money laundering proceedings is not before the SC and argued that the probe by the agency can't be stalled on the basis that the apex court would rule in favour of the petitioner.

  • The counsel for the ED had said he would file a reply on behalf of the ED and that the petitioner was only being called for an inquiry