The Delhi High Court has intervened in the ongoing money-laundering investigation involving Hero MotoCorp Chairman and Managing Director Pawan Munjal.
What Happened: The court issued a stay on Enforcement Directorate (ED) proceedings and the attachment of properties, just days after the ED alleged that Munjal had used foreign currency issued in others’ names for personal overseas expenditures, thereby bypassing Reserve Bank of India rules.
Mukul Rohatgi, Munjal’s counsel, argued that the ED’s case rested on a matter in which Munjal had already been exonerated by the adjudicating authority of the Customs. The ED, in its probe, claimed that Munjal had acquired foreign exchange in the names of other individuals and utilized it for his personal expenses abroad.
The ED contended that the foreign currency was obtained by an event management company under the names of various employees and then transferred to Munjal’s relationship manager.
Why it matters: The ED initiated the investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and conducted raids in August, seizing valuables worth ₹25 crore from multiple accused individuals. The Delhi High Court’s order, issued on November 3, stayed proceedings related to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which forms the basis of the ED’s case. The DRI’s prosecution complaint accused Munjal and others of illicitly exporting prohibited items, including foreign currency.
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Munjal has sought to quash the complaint, arguing that the trial court’s summoning order lacked reasons and overlooked his exoneration by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in March 2022.
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