Farooq Abdullah’s Plea Challenging ED’s Order Attaching Property: High Court Refers Plea To Division Bench

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court referred former CM of J&K, MP and NC president Farooq Abdullah’s plea challenging an order of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of attaching his properties in the erstwhile State to a division bench, reported LiveLaw.in.

According to the report, the Bench of Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur referred the case to a division bench after it observed that the genesis of the proceedings against Abdullah as well as one Ahsan Ahmad (former treasurer of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association) lies in the case which is pending trial before the Designated Court.

“In these circumstances having expressed my opinion that the matter be considered by a Division Bench of this Court,” observed the Bench, LiveLaw.in reported.

Abdullah has filed a petition under Article 226 & 227 of the Constitution of India, inter alia, seeking challenging Provisional Attachment Order as well as Notice dated 05.02.2021, under Section 8 of the PML Act.

Significantly, by virtue of the order of attachment, the Directorate of Enforcement has attached several properties belonging to the petitioner.

The matter pertains to a 2012 case registered under Section 409,406, and 120-B RPC, in connection with the misappropriation of funds of the JKCA. Subsequently, the matter was transferred to CBI for investigation by a division bench of the High Court in the year 2015.

The CBI, besides others, indicted Abdullah and Mirza in the final report filed before the designated court.

Consequent to the filing of the challan before the appropriate court, proceedings have been initiated by the Authorities under the PML Act against Abdullah as also against Ahsan Ahmad Mirza.

Having perused the averments made in the petition filed by Abdullah, the Court noted that the proceedings initiated against Ahsan Ahmad Mirza were challenged by him vide a petition, which was, however, dismissed by a Coordinate Bench of the Court in the year 2019.

Further, the Court noted that in the instant writ petition, Abdullah also challenged the action of the Authorities under the PML Act, inter alia, on the issue of jurisdiction, the applicability of PML Act to the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, as also on grounds of illegality and procedural irregularities.

In this backdrop, the Court said, “Having gone through the writ petition as also the Judgment of the Coordinate Bench in Ahsan Mirza’s case, it can be seen that some of the issues raised by the petitioner in the present petition were also issues, which were raised and decided by the Coordinate Bench, which now, form the subject matter of consideration by the Division Bench of this Court.”

The Court further opined, “Considering the fact that the genesis of the proceedings both against the petitioner, Dr Farooq Abdullah as also the appellant, Ahsan Ahmad Mirza, lies in the case which is pending trial before the Designated Court and the issues being common, in my opinion, therefore, are required to be considered together.”

Thus, the Registrar Judicial was directed to list the matter along with records of WP (C) 2780/2019 before the appropriate Bench after seeking due permission from the Chief Justice, LiveLaw.in reported.

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