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FEMA case: Delhi HC likely to hear today Moitra's plea alleging ED leaked confidential, unverified info

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FEMA case: Delhi HC likely to hear today Moitra's plea alleging ED leaked confidential, unverified info

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The Delhi High Court might hear on Thursday a plea by Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, challenging the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) approach in handling the investigation against her under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999.

The ED had issued summons to her under FEMA on February 14 and 20. Moitra’s plea seeks judicial intervention to prevent the ED from disseminating any “confidential or unverified information” related to the case to the media.

She has named 19 media organisations, urging the court to restrain them from broadcasting or publishing any “unverified, unconfirmed, false, derogatory content” concerning the ongoing investigation.

The case is slated for a hearing before Justice Subramonium Prasad. Moitra’s plea stresses the necessity for media reporting on her case to align with official ED press releases, aiming to ensure factual accuracy and prevent misinformation.

She has accused the ED of deliberately leaking information about the investigation and her preliminary responses, which she argues aims to tarnish her reputation through a “media-trial.”

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“It is submitted that instead of undertaking a fair, transparent and ethical investigation into the alleged violations of the FEMA by the Petitioner, Respondent No. 1 (ED) has willfully and maliciously leaked the details of the FEMA Summons, as well as the preliminary response…” Moitra’s petition reads.

She contends that such actions compromise the investigation’s integrity and infringe upon her rights, including her right to privacy, dignity, and a fair investigation.

“Respondent No. 1 has acted against the procedure prescribed under the law as it has leaked confidential, half-baked, speculative/unconfirmed information to the media in relation to the ongoing proceedings/investigation under FEMA against the Petitioner,” Moitra has said.

In addition to the FEMA case, Moitra has been embroiled in controversy over allegations of receiving cash in exchange for parliamentary queries on behalf of businessman Darshan Hiranandani, a charge she has denied despite admitting to sharing her Parliament login details with him.

She has also filed a defamation suit against individuals including BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, with a judgment on interim relief pending.

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Recently, the court had allowed Moitra to withdraw her petition challenging the eviction notice by Directorate of Estates to vacate the government bungalow that was allotted to her but cancelled following her expulsion from the Lok Sabha.

On January 18, the court had refused to stay the eviction notice issued to the expelled Lok Sabha MP.

Justice Girish Kathpalia had dismissed Moitra’s application, considering the pending issue of her expulsion from Lok Sabha before the Supreme Court.

The court had noted that the matter of extending the time to vacate the government accommodation was closely linked to her expulsion issue, and currently, she has no right to the accommodation.

It had said that the court is not inclined to invoke jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution at this stage to restrain the operation of the impugned eviction order.

–IANS

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