The Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court bench yesterday that Raghav Bahl, the founder of The Quint and an accused in a money laundering case, can travel abroad if he and his wife produce an undertaking on the date of return and provide the itinerary, as reported by Law Beat.
In June 2019, the Enforcement Directorate had filed a money laundering case against Bahl under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for alleged “laundering of funds to purchase an undisclosed foreign asset”. According to several news reports, the IT department had allegedly accused Bahl of not disclosing his foreign assets, a property bought in London, the UK for 31 lakh pounds.
The Supreme Court had in December 2021 protected Bahl from being arrested by Enforcement Directorate.
Bahl had approached the Supreme Court after Delhi High Court refused to grant him protection in the case.
According to Law Beat, when the matter came up for hearing on March 7, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Bahl said, “Bahl and his wife are to travel abroad for health reasons and that the order of the Court protecting Bahl does not clarify whether or not he can travel.”
SG Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, submitted that he has to take instructions in this regard, hence the bench initially adjourned the matter to March 8.
Later SG Mehta informed them that he has taken instructions and Bahl can be permitted to travel subject “to him and his wife producing an undertaking on the date of return and providing the itinerary”, as mentioned in the Law Beat report.
The Court on hearing the SG’s statement sought Diwan’s opinion on the same. On Diwan agreeing to it, the court adjourned the matter to Friday (March 11) for compliance.