The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay proceedings related to a Provisional Attachment Order (PAO) passed against Amnesty International India in November 2020 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) [Amnesty International India Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Directorate of Enforcement & Ors.]. .However, the single-judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli made it clear that any final order by the ED will not be implemented without the permission of the Court..The PAO said that Amnesty had violated provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA) and also the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). Through this order, the ED sought to attach Amnesty’s bank accounts on accusations of money laundering under the two Acts. .Advocate Arshdeep Singh Khurana, counsel for Amnesty International, argued that the PAO in the present case is no longer valid as the period of 180 days lapsed on May 25. The law mandates that the PAO has to be confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority under the Act within 180 days.In this regard, reliance was placed on the High Court judgment rendered on November 18, 2020 in Vikas WSP v. Directorate of Enforcement..Advocate Amit Mahajan, appearing for the ED, explained that the delay was due to certain issues. One of these was the fact that a Division Bench of the High Court had on January 8, 2021 stayed the judgement in Vikas WSP case. Advocate Khurana also replied to this saying that, “this issue has arisen in 30-40 matters since then before the court.” After hearing the parties, the Court observed,“It is also important to note that the issue of whether or not the period of 180 days stipulated under Sections 5 (1) and (3) of the PMLA is sacrosanct or not is still pending adjudication before a Division Bench.".The Court gave parties time to complete the pleadings and posted the case for hearing next on September 28. .In November 2019, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an FIR against Amnesty International and its affiliates for violating the FCRA and the PMLAConsequent to this, properties allegedly worth Rs 1,87,86,807, two bank accounts holding a total of Rs 2,35,977, and 10 fixed deposit accounts holding a total of Rs 1,85,50,830 were attached by way of a PAO issued by the ED on November 26, 2020..Aggrieved by the same, Amnesty approached the High Court challenging this order. The grounds for challenge included expiry of the 180-day period provided under the PMLA and the fact that the adjudicating authority had become functus officio or defunct.