The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed the urgent listing of a plea by Chinese smartphone maker Vivo against the freezing of its bank accounts in connection with a money-laundering probe by the Enforcement Directorate.
The plea was mentioned before a bench of Delhi High Court Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad which agreed to list it for Friday. The petition has now been listed before Justice Yashwant Varma who is likely to hear it soon.
The federal probe agency, on July 5, raided several places across the country in the money laundering investigation against Vivo and related firms. The searches were carried out under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in several states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Maharashtra.
Vivo, in its petition, has sought to set aside the ED's orders to freeze its bank accounts.
''Due to the amounts in the bank accounts being unavailable to the petitioner, the petitioner will be unable to pay its statutory dues (such as customs duties, GST, TDS, etc) to various authorities, as well as other expenses (such as salaries, rent, etc) because of which its business has now been set on a path towards a commercial and civil death,'' the petition said.
The ED filed the money laundering case after taking cognizance of a recent FIR of 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 suspects this alleged forgery was done to launder illegally generated funds using shell or paper companies and some of these ''proceeds of crime'' were diverted to stay under the radar of Indian tax and enforcement agencies.
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