Delhi High Court refuses to stay proceedings against Amnesty International

On friday, the Delhi High Court refused to stay proceedings related to a Provisional Attachment Order (PAO) passed against Amnesty International India in November 2020 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Nevertheless the single-judge Bench clearly stated that any final order by the ED will not be implemented without the permission of the Court.

The PAO said that Amnesty had violated provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA) and also the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).

Petitioner argued that the PAO in the present case is no longer valid as the period of 180 days lapsed on May 25. The law mandates that the PAO has to be confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority under the Act within 180 days.

The respondent explained that the delay was due to certain issues. One of these was the fact that a Division Bench of the High Court had on January 8, 2021 stayed the judgement in Vikas WSP case.

After hearing the parties the Court gave parties time to complete the pleadings and posted the case for hearing next on September 28.

The CBI registered an FIR against Amnesty International and its affiliates for violating the FCRA and the PMLA in November, 2019.

Accordingly the properties, two bank accounts holding  and 10 fixed deposit were annexed by way of a PAO issued by the ED on November 26, 2020.

Aggrieved by the same, Amnesty approached the High Court challenging this order.

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