Amazon-Future Grp case: Delhi HC rebukes ED for insisting physical appearance of Amazon exec in Delhi amid Covid surge
Delhi/IBNS: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that it cannot force a top Amazon executive, who lives in Mumbai and is a mother of an unvaccinated two-year-old child, to be physically present to answer summons as part of its probe into the Amazon Future Group deal, media reports said.
The court ruled that ED cannot demand Hina Doon to come to Delhi despite not being able to arrange a temporary guardian and expose herself and her children to coronavirus infection.
"It is not in good taste. This is not the manner in which an officer should respond..." the High Court told the agency after Amazon's counsel brought the letter to the court's notice, reported NDTV.
"We are not defending it. We too share (the court's) concern, and we will convey it to the officers..." Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the central government, told the court, the report stated.
The court then adjourned the hearing on Amazon's plea seeking revocation summons to its top executives.
On December 8, Doon had written to ED saying it would be difficult for her to travel to Delhi amid the growing number of Covid cases in the two cities (Delhi and Mumbai) and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
"It is especially difficult for me to travel at present as I am a young mother, with a child who is two years old and who is not vaccinated. I do not have any extended family in Mumbai who can take care of my daughter in my absence," Doon had written, according to the report.
"My husband is working from office and given the nature of his job, it is not possible for him to take temporary leave at such short notice," she said.
However, ED had refused to heed Doon's concerns and termed her reasons for not appearing in its Delhi office "superficial".
Amazon has approached the Delhi High Court challenging summons to eight of its top executives by ED as part of its probe into the alleged foreign exchange violation by the multinational company.
While the Delhi High Court has not stayed the ED's probe into alleged violation by Amazon in its deal with Future group, it has told asked the agency not to insist on the physical appearance of Amazon executives in Delhi and has adjourned the case till next week.