The Supreme Court today stayed the proceedings undertaken by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to provisionally attach Sun TV network’s assets worth Rs 742 crore in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy, however, clarified that the period of 180 days stipulated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to conclude proceedings to attach assets after issuance of a notice, will not expire during the pendency of present plea of Sun TV.
“In view of the last order passed by this court, the provisional attachment process will not expire after the conclusion of 180 days,” it said.
Senior advocate Anand Grover, appointed by the apex court as special prosecutor to conduct 2G trial, said he had “no problem” with the staying of proceedings and the bench should only specify that the statutory period of 180 days does not get expired due to the stay.
The ED had ordered provisional attachment of assets of Sun TV worth Rs 742 crore allegedly linked to the Aircel-Maxis deal under the PMLA.
Sun TV Network had moved the apex court after the Madras High Court refused to hear their plea against the provisional attachment on the grounds that the case was linked to the 2G spectrum scam. The apex court had in July decided to take up the matter.
The TV firm had earlier submitted that the ED should be restrained from proceeding with the matter.
The ED had issued notice for attaching assets worth Rs 742 crore belonging to the Maran brothers and Kalanithi Maran’s wife Kaveri Kalanithi in connection with its probe into alleged money laundering in the Aircel-Maxis deal in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
The notice was issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for attachment of assets held by former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and Kaveri.