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Delhi High Court rejects WB Minister Moloy Ghatak plea to quash ED case; says PMLA summons not hit by Article 20

In a detailed order, the Court also held that that mere issuance of summons under Section 50 of PMLA does not not attract the protection guaranteed by Constitution of India under Article 20(3).

Article 20(3) says that no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

The Court observed that the argument and reliance on Article 20(3) is contradictory in this case because even Ghatak does not know whether he is an accused or a witness in the case and yet he is seeking protection under Article 20(3) which is only available to an accused.

“This Court is of the opinion that mere issuance of summons under Section 50 of PMLA for the purpose of giving information or evidence whether oral or documentary will not attract the protection guaranteed by the Indian Constitution under Article 20(3), as the argument in itself is contradictory since on the one hand, the petitioner himself states that he does not know whether he is accused or witness, on the other hand, he wants protection as an accused and a direction that he cannot be a witness against himself,” the single-judge said.

Source: Barandbench

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