Gangtok, 18 Sept:
The Directorate of Enforcement, Kolkata, suffered a setback in the case of a money laundering it had filed against the now defunct Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management [EIILM] University, a Sikkim-based educational institution.
ED’s five appeals in the High Court failed on the grounds of limitation after the organization, citing procedural delays, took much longer than prescribed time-limits for the filing of such appeals.
While passing the order, the High Court of Sikkim took strong note and remarked that it could not breach statutory mandate and cannot make the provisions of Limitation Act applicable. Consequently, the appeals filed by the ED were held not maintainable as the same had been filed beyond the prescribed period of limitation as provided under Section 42 of the PMLA.
While passing the order on the plea of Enforcement Directorate, the High Court further said that the Court has no hesitation in saying that “officers/officials involved in the matter were either negligent or did not work for the interest of the institution.”
Delay could have been avoided, the Court observed, adding that leaves open to the Director of the agency to get an enquiry conducted and take appropriate action in the matter.
The ED had attached all the back accounts and immovable properties of Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (EIILM) University [to the tune of Rs 137 Crore] and registered a case against the university. After conducting preliminary investigation, the Enforcement Directorate registered a case against the institute in March 2014.
EIILM University was investigated for allegedly duping thousands of students and selling unauthorized degrees, diplomas and certificates through unauthorized distance education courses.