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“Dissent Has Been Criminalised In This Country”: Mehbooba Mufti Appears Before ED

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Mehbooba Mufti ED Summons: Mehbooba Mufti, the president of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), appeared before Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday in a money laundering case, as per the officials.

Mufti appeared in the Srinagar ED office in Rajbagh at 11 am where she was questioned about the said case. She was earlier asked to visit ED’s Delhi office but citing prior commitments she did not make it. Later her request to make an appearance in Srinagar instead of Delhi was accepted.

According to Mufti, she was questioned about the land in Bijbehara owned by her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and its sale. While speaking to the reporters she also expressed her discontentment with the central government as she said, ” Dissent has been criminalised in this country.”

She added, ” Whoever speaks up, ED and NIA are used against them. The nation is not running according to the Constitution of India but according to the agenda of a particular party.”

The 61-year-old PDP leader had earlier moved to Delhi High Court to seek a stay on the ED summons but the court refused her plea. The agency had earlier not asked for her personal appearance. In her plea to the High Court, Mufti had written, ” I write to you in reference to the summons issued to me to be present at your Delhi office on March 22. I have challenged in the Delhi High Court the constitutional vires of Section 50 of the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), under which these summons are issued.”

Section 50 of the PMLA mentioned by Mufti permits the Enforcement Directorate to summon any individual. It can be about giving evidence or for just a public record. A person summoned by the agency is bound to give answers to questions by them. They also have to present any document asked by the agency and failing that, one can be penalised under the PMLA.

After the Delhi High Court refused Mehbooba Mufti’s plea to stay the summons, she requested the court to move the appearance date. She was earlier called in on March 15, which then moved to March 22. Mufti told the court that she had prior commitments and that is why she will not be able to appear on March 22.

“I state that I am not in a position to attend the summon on March 22 as I have prior commitments that cannot be cancelled at such short notice,” she wrote.

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