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No relief to K Kavitha in ED case, SC to hear issue of summons to women after three weeks

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant relief to Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha from joining the investigation in the Delhi excise policy case. However, the top court agreed to hear the issue of whether a “woman can be summoned to the office of the Enforcement Directorate for questioning” under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The issue was raised in the plea filed by Kavitha, who had challenged the summons issued to her to attend questioning in the Delhi Liquor policy scam case.

The plea has argued that a woman cannot be summoned to the ED office for questioning and should be questioned at her residence by the officials as per the CrPC.

Appearing before the bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi, senior advocate Kapil Sibal submitted that, “There are two similar matters already pending before this court on this issue of ED summons to a woman. One is by Nalini Chidambaram and the other by Abhishek Banerjee.”

Citing the Vijay Madanlal judgment on interpretation of PMLA, additional solicitor general SV Raju argued that Section 50 of PMLA proceedings is an “inquiry”, which is governed under the PMLA procedure, not CrPC.

“The summons she has received is for investigation. The PMLA complaint has been filed. This is much later in the process. Please see Section 8. There is no other procedure for issuing summons. This court must clarify the matter,” argued Sibal.

“The summons, etc. are during the process of the investigation. The complaint was filed in November. They have named me as an “accused” though I am not named in the complaint. Now they have issued summons to join the investigation. There is no such procedure under PMLA. If the provision is not there, the CrPC code will apply,” Sibal argued further.

The Supreme Court will now hear this issue after three weeks.


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