Delhi High Court: Plea Against Freezing Of Debt Accounts By ED; Asked Vivo To Pursue Remedies Before PMLA Appellate Tribunal


The Delhi High Court in the case Vivo Mobile India PVT. Ltd v. Directorate Of Enforcement observed wherein the court was hearing a plea moved by Vivo India against the order of Enforcement Directorate to debit freeze its bank accounts, the court directed the Chinese smartphone manufacturer to pursue the appellate remedies before the Appellate Authority under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The bench headed by Justice Prathiba M Singh in the case observed and has noted that Vivo India has preferred an appeal before the Appellate Tribunal last month which being against the order passed by Adjudicating Authority wherein the court confirmed the debit freeze order.
The court in the case observed and has directed Vivo India to prefer interim application before the Appellate Tribunal along with the appeal which may be taken up within four weeks and the same shall be adjudicated expeditiously.
An interim order on 13.07.2022, the coordinate bench of the court had passed an interim order wherein directing Vivo India for furnishing a bank guarantee of Rs.950 crores. The court also directed to maintain a credit balance for an amount of Rs. 251 crores in the bank accounts.
Last year, in the month of September, it has been directed by the court that the Chinese smartphone manufacturer to maintain a credit balance of Rs.10,45,94,868.9. Therefore, the Adjudicating Authority in an order dated 21.12.2022 confirmed the debit freeze.
The bench headed by Justice Singh in the case observed and has directed that the interim applications and the final adjudication of the appeal made by Vivo India’s may be conducted expeditiously before the Appellate Tribunal within four weeks, which being either from filing of the appeal or firstly listing along with interim applications.
The ED in its affidavit filed in July last year alleged that the company’s seized bank accounts were clearly being involved in the case of money laundering, ED while responding to the Vivo’s plea.
It has also been submitted by the central investigating that it being not a case of mere commission of an economic offence but an attempt to destabilize the financial system of the country and it is also to threaten the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
It has also been alleged before the court that out of total sale proceeds made of Rs. 1,25,185 crores, Vivo India remitted an amount of 62,476 crores which being almost 50% of the turnover out of India, being mainly to China
Further, the ED alleged before the court that these remittances were being made in order to claim huge losses by these companies to avoid payment of taxes in India.