Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Freezing of bank accounts | Delhi High Court asks Vivo to approach PMLA appellate tribunal

A view of Delhi High Court, in New Delhi. File

A view of Delhi High Court, in New Delhi. File
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Delhi High Court has asked Chinese smartphone maker Vivo to approach the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) appellate tribunal in relation to the freezing of its bank accounts by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering probe.

The High Court asked Vivo to file a plea in the tribunal for any interim relief. It further clarified that until a decision, interim or final, is taken by the tribunal, the High Court’s earlier orders asking the company to furnish bank guarantee of ₹950 crore and to maintain the credit balance of over ₹251 crore to be able to use the bank accounts shall continue.

“The interim arrangements, which have been directed by this court… shall continue till the time the appellate tribunal decides the interim applications or till the final decision in the appeals, in terms of the orders that may be passed by the tribunal,” the High Court said in its March 28 order.

Vivo had approached the High Court last year challenging the freezing of its bank accounts by the ED. It also sought permission to deal with the frozen bank accounts for making payments towards certain liabilities.

The ED has initiated the money laundering case after taking cognisance of an FIR of the Delhi police’s Economic Offences Wing against a distributor of an agency based in Jammu and Kashmir where it was alleged that a few Chinese shareholders in that company forged their identity documents.

The ED had earlier raided several places across the country in the money laundering investigation against Vivo and related firms.

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