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HC asks ED to respond to Vivo’s plea

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of the Enforcement Directorate on a plea by Chinese smartphone maker Vivo seeking quashing of an order freezing its various bank accounts in connection with a money laundering probe initiated against it.

The high court also allowed Vivo to operate its various bank accounts on furnishing of a bank guarantee of Rs 950 crore with the Enforcement Directorate, which contended that presently the proceeds of crime has been quantified to Rs 1200 crore, within a week.

The court also asked the company to maintain a balance of Rs 251 crore in the bank accounts, which was there at the time of freezing of the accounts.

The court granted one week to the ED to file its response to the petition and listed the matter for further hearing on July 28.

Besides quashing the freezing order, Vivo has sought permission to deal with its frozen bank accounts for making payments towards certain liabilities.

The probe agency on July 5 had raided several places across the country in the money laundering investigation against Vivo and related firms. The searches were carried out under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in several states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Maharashtra. PTI

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