Mumbai: In a relief to Rheema Khan, the wife of Hasan Ali Khan (who has been arrested in an alleged multi-crore money laundering scam), the Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted her exemption from appearing before a special court which has initiated criminal proceedings against her.
The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, on June 17, issued proceedings against Rheema on the complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for non-appearance before the agency despite summons.
Rheema then approached the High Court, seeking quashing of the proceedings, and exemption from personal appearance.
Her counsels Shashank Manohar and IA Bagaria argued that the PMLA court had no power to initiate criminal proceedings, it can only impose fine on a person in such cases.
"Just because her husband is arrested does it mean that you (should) summon her? Why should she be asked to attend the court personally, when the fine amount is just between Rs 500 to Rs 10,000?" Justice BR Gavai asked.
Revati Dhere, counsel for the ED, informed the court that the agency had to approach the special court as Rheema had not responded to as many as 23 summons issued by the ED, for recording her statement.
Dere also told the court that the ED would not seek Rheema's judicial custody.
Justice Gavai then directed the special court to decide whether she should appear before the ED, within four weeks.