The Delhi High Court on Monday rejected news website The Quint's founder and journalist Raghav Bahl's petition seeking quashing of Enforcement Directorate's (ED) proceedings in a money laundering case against him.
A single-judge bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh dismissed the plea observing that the investigation is not over yet and the petition is premature.
"The allegations are yet to reach the stage of trial. Whether there is generation of proceeds of crime or not is being investigated and for the said reason, the petition as of today is premature and is rejected," he said.
The court also refused to quash the Lookout Circular (LOC) issued against Bahl.
Pertaining to the opening of LOC against Bahl, Justice Singh said that quashing the same will be "premature", granting him liberty to file an application with supporting documents on when he wants to travel abroad, which shall be considered in accordance with law.
"The quashing of LOC at this stage will be premature, however, the petitioner has travelled in the past and needs to travel for work. Liberty of the petitioner to travel abroad in genuine case and for business cannot be curtailed," the court noted.
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The ED had initiated an inquiry based on a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax department for alleged non-disclosure of funds of around Rs 2.45 crore used for buying a property in London by Bahl.
The case was filed in 2019 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
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