The Centre Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that it will seek the transfer of Mehbooba Mufti’s challenge to the Constitutional validity of a provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to the Supreme Court.
In view of the Centre’s stand, a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh adjourned the hearing on the former J&K Chief Minsiter’s petition till September 30.
“Several petitions concerning various provisions and scheme of PMLA…are pending. Matter has been assigned to a special bench and parties have exchanged questions, one of which is directly in question here,” said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Centre.
“Can we say you would prefer a transfer petition?,” the court questioned the Solicitor General who responded, “Yes, you can.” “I intend to move a transfer petition. If they agree, we can do it together,” Solicitor General added.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju added that the questions before the Supreme Court included issues concerning the commencement of investigation under PMLA.
Senior counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan, representing Mufti, said that the matter was “ripe for hearing” before the high court.
“I’m happy if we can move (Supreme Court) together”, she added.
On September 9, the court had listed Mufti’s plea for final disposal on September 14.
Mufti, in her plea filed in March, has sought to declare section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as void and inoperative, being unfairly discriminatory, bereft of safeguards, and violative of Article 20(3) of the Constitution.
Section 50 of the Act empowers the authority, that is, officers of ED, to summon any person to give evidence or produce records. All persons summoned are bound to answer the questions put to them and to produce the documents as required by the ED officers, failing which they can be penalized under the Act.
She has also challenged issuance of summons to her by the ED in a money laundering case and sought a stay which was refused by the court earlier.
The 61-year-old leader, who was released last year after more than a year in detention following the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, was served notice to appear at the ED headquarters in the national capital.
Initially, the ED had summoned Mufti for March 15 but it did not insist for her personal appearance at that time. Thereafter, she was summoned for March 22.
Mufti, in her petition, said she has received summons from the ED under the provisions of the PMLA, purporting to call for ‘evidence’ on pain of punishment, whereas she is, to all intents and purposes, a subject of investigation.
”She has not been informed if she is being summoned as an accused or as a witness. She has also not been informed of what she is being summoned in connection with and the scheduled offence under the PMLA which gave rise to the proceedings in respect of which impugned summons has been issued to her. The petitioner is not the subject of investigation, nor is she an accused, in any of the scheduled offences to the best of her knowledge,” the plea said.
The plea claimed that ever since Mufti was released from the preventive detention following the formal abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, there have been a series of hostile acts by the State, against her, acquaintances and old family friends, who have all been summoned by the ED and a roving inquiry about her personal, political and financial affairs was made, in the course of which their personal devices have been seized.
Earlier, Solicitor General and advocate Amit Mahajan, representing the ED, had said there was no need to issue a formal notice to them as they are already appearing before the court and said they will file a short note on the issue of question of law.
Centre to make Rs 60,000 crore investment in J&K in next 2-3 years: Union MoS Rajeev Chandrashekhar
The Jammu and Kashmir government Saturday said the Centre has “formulated a plan to spend Rs 60,000 crores in the union territory alone in next 2 to 3 years” through which the UT “will see new circle of development prosperity”.
A government handout said the amount “will be utilized to create employment generating avenues, inspire youth to establish micro income generating units and boost local economy”.
These remarks were made by Union Minister of State for Skill Development Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrashekhar while addressing a gathering of ITI and polytechnic students in a convention cum seminar organized in his honor at ITI Complex Wadipora Budgam.
“I have observed and personally witnessed that the local youth of Kashmir are full of talent and skill. They need to be inspired, show interest in getting highly skilled training, be energetic as there are enormous opportunities of employment generation available,” the Minister said.
Chandrashekhar claimed, “about 8 lakh new jobs were created since 1st April 2020 to 30th April 2021 in IT and manufacturing sectors”.
” It is our mission, goal and solemn promise to strengthen the entrepreneurship diversification as it has a great economic prospects to absorb youth in various fields, ” he added.
The Minister appealed aspiring youth to “be committed, positive in approach and remain enthusiastic to realize and fulfill every dream”.
Principal Secretary Skill Development Department Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, DC Budgam Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza, Director Skill Development Department, SSP Budgam, Principal ITI Budgam and other District Officers were present on the occasion.
The Minister said “ministers visiting UT of J&K have an objective to check the situation relating to developmental and other aspects on ground”.
“This is PM’s initiative and revolutionary first of its kind mission particularly for UT of J&K,” the Minister added.
Chandrasekhar further asserted, “We came here with professional objective and ambition to deliver, our visits shall emerge result oriented.”
The minister lauded concerned J&K authorities for the “enormous work done in skill development” even as he said more boost and push was needed in the sector.
“Budgam has potential and talent which they have showcased through incredible skills,” he added.
The Minister inspected automobile training centre of ITI Budgam besides the stalls installed by the skilled youth demonstrating and displaying manufacturing skills, talent and professionalism in respective art and trades.
Later, the Minister presided a meeting of officers convened at Conference Hall Budgam where a detailed review of each sector was under taken scheme wise. The DC Budgam through a detailed power point presentation presented developmental and welfare scenario of the District.
The Minister while going through the details appreciated the District Administration and its officials in achieving the given targets, despite facing inconveniences due to COVID 19 crisis and other circumstances. He impressed up on the District Administration to continue its engagements with same spirit, conviction and dedication.
He appreciated the “extreme professionalism shown by District Administration officials in implementation of centrally and state sponsored schemes under the able leadership of DC Budgam”.
District Budgam shall be pilot district for introduction of new skill development courses, the Minister announced.
He claimed the courses “will take district to next level of achievement”.
During the meeting various deputations from across the district including political representatives, PRI’s, school students, common citizens apprised the Minister about their issues and grievances verbally as well as by submitting memorandums.
As per the government handout, the minister patiently listened to all individuals /deputations and assured them of early redressal of all genuine issues. On the occasion the Minister also launched mobile application Aurzov (Healthcare mobile app.), Meri Awaaz (water bodies conservation), Covid Care service Budgam and e-Services Portal.
17-yr-old boy drowns to death in Ganderbal
On Friday afternoon, a 17-year-old boy drowned to death in Nallah Sindh in Duderhama of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
An official said that a teenage boy identified as Mohammad Azam Shah, son of Kaisar Ahmad Shah from Bamloora, drowned in Nallah when he was taking a bath.
A police officer also confirmed the incident and said that a massive rescue operation was launched following the incident, and the body was fished out.
The body was later handed over to his family members after competition of legal formalities.
Advisor Baseer Khan inaugurates M S Dhoni Academy in Srinagar
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan today launched the M S Dhoni Cricket Academy at DOON International School (DIS) Srinagar.
Chairman DIS, Showkat Hussain Khan, Principal DIS, Mehfooz Aslam, Managing Director Aarka Sports Management, Mihir Diwakar, coaches and players of international repute were present on the launching ceremony.
Advisor Baseer Khan who was Chief Guest on the occasion said that it is a big moment for the entire Union Territory that M S Dhoni Cricket Academy has come to Srinagar. “The Academy will provide an opportunity to the aspiring and budding cricketers and a perfect coaching venue with modern infrastructure for the cricket lovers to groom young cricketing talent in Kashmir under the supervision of expert coaches and the legendary master M S Dhoni, for the first time,” Advisor said.
Advisor said it is going to be one of the biggest platform for cricket enthusiasts in the valley and will provide an opportunity to hone the cricketing skills of the aspiring cricketers.
He said that the academy which is being established as a chain of academies will have an overwhelming response over a period of time and is the best thing that has happened to cricket in Jammu and Kashmir.
Advisor Baseer Khan said that he is confident that the academy will produce world class cricketers from the UT of Jammu and Kashmir who will represent the country at national and international levels.
He said that the people of UT have a special attraction for sports and cricket happens to be at the top.
He also said that the launching of the academy will be remembered from the perspective of cricket lovers and this is a happy moment for cricketers in the UT.
Mihir Diwakar while giving a brief of the progress of the M S Dhoni Academy said that the aim of the academy is to benefit the student community and promote their cricketing skills to the next level.
Principal DOON said the school is leaving no stone unturned to promote sporting excellence in cricket in the valley. He expressed gratitude to the Advisor Baseer Khan for his support and lauded his contribution to the field of Cricket.
On the occasion, a felicitation ceremony was also held during which students were felicitated by the Advisor as a recognition of their excellent performances.
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