Greeva Garg –

Published on: August 23, 2021, at 09:50 IST

The Delhi High Court has stayed the provisional order by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for attachment of a power plant in Madhya Pradesh, after it noted that a similar order from the same FIR was earlier not approved by the adjudicating authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The Court stayed the order while hearing the petition filed by M/s BLA Industries Private Limited, which has challenged the legality and validity of a provisional attachment order passed on 7 June for its power plant in Narsinghpur in Madhya Pradesh.

“The order is arbitrary, illegal, unreasonable, misconceived, asserting that an identical attachment order was previously passed by the ED in the same FIR, but was not approved by the PMLA adjudicating authority in June 2018 stating that no case was made out against the petitioners for either generating proceeds of crime or laundering them,” the petition stated.

It has been contended by the respondents that even though a challenge to this order is currently pending before the Appellate Tribunal, PMLA, the order has not been stayed.

The company has invoked the principle of res judicata, which means a case or an issue involving a dispute or allegation already decided by a court. The principle ensures that there is a finality to binding court decisions.

Taking note of this position, Justice Rekha Palli, therefore ordered, “In the light of this undisputed position that the impugned PAO (provisional attachment order) is based on the same facts which were the subject matter of the previous PAO dated 04.10.2018, which was not approved by the Adjudicating Authority, it is directed that till the next date, the operation of the impugned PAO dated 07.06.2021 shall remain stayed.”

The ED is directed to file a reply in this regard within six weeks. The matter is posted for the further hearing to be held in January 2022.


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