Money laundering case: High Court defers Lavalin's petition against ED probe


Kochi: The Kerala High Court deferred considering a petition by SNC-Lavalin Engineering India, challenging the action taken against it by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.

Deferring the petition by three weeks, High Court Judge Justice K Haripal awarded ED time to file a counter affidavit. The company also requested the court to quash the summons issued to it in the case registered under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act (PMLA).

The petition contended that the summonses asking it to appear before the ED on February 25 and April 8 violated the law and were in breach of the Constitution.

Identifying itself as a subsidiary of Canada-based SNC-Lavalin Inc. (SLI), the petitioner firm submitted that it had no role in the contracts or transactions the parent company had directly undertaken between 1995 and 1998.

Allegations were raised against SLI following a 2005 Auditor-General (AG) report on the Canadian firm’s transactions between 1995 and 1998. Pursuant to the AG's report, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), conducted a probe and filed a chargesheet in 2019.

The petitioner company argued that allegations of money laundering against SLI related to the period before PMLA came into force on January 17, 2003.

The plaintiff also submitted that the ED was planning its probe based on the CBI case, and the case details were not revealed. The firm also pointed out that the CBI had not arraigned it as an accused in the case.

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