Home INDIA Probe Agency Can Summon Anyone Necessary For Investigation: Supreme Court

Probe Agency Can Summon Anyone Necessary For Investigation: Supreme Court

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Probe agency can summon anyone required for investigation: Supreme Court

The court had asked five district magistrates from Tamil Nadu to appear before it.

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday strongly slammed the non-appearance of five district collectors of Tamil Nadu before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an ongoing money laundering probe related to alleged illegal sand mining, despite the court’s order.

It directed the officials to appear personally before the ED on April 25 and said failure to do so will face dire consequences.

A bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal said the officials were taking an “arrogant approach” and the action shows that they have no respect for the court, the law and the Constitution.

“In our opinion, such an arrogant approach will put them in a difficult situation. When the court issued the order directing them to appear in response to the ED summons, they were expected to obey the same order and remain present before This shows that the officers have no respect for the court or the law, let alone the Constitution of India. Such an approach is strongly disapproved,” the bank said.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for the Tamil Nadu government, said the officials were busy maintaining law and order and implementing the social security scheme.

They said that the Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held on April 19 in Tamil Nadu and the officials have taken care of the work related to the elections.

The bench said the officials should have appeared before the investigating agency and explained the reasons.

It said the officials will be given one last chance to appear before the ED in connection with the money laundering probe.

Mr Sibal said a review petition has been filed against the Supreme Court’s February 27 order wherein the court had asked the officials to appear before the probe agency.

“What is the point of sending the officials to the investigation agency when they have said that they do not have the requisite details sought by the ED,” the senior lawyer said, adding that even authorized officers of the officer can are sent.

He added that ED has not specified whether the officials are being called as witnesses or as accused.

The bench asked Mr Sibal to read out Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and said, “ED can summon anyone as it says ‘any person’.”

Section 50(2) of the PMLA says: “The Director, Additional Director, Joint Director, Assistant Director or Assistant Director shall have the power to summon any person whose presence he considers necessary to testify or to produce documents in the course of the proceedings. any investigation or proceeding under this Act.”

Justice Trivedi said, “You were given enough time to appear. The order (February 27) was issued a month ago. But they chose not to appear.”

On February 27, the Supreme Court directed the five district collectors to appear before the ED in connection with an ongoing money laundering probe.

The Madras High Court on November 28 last year stayed the summons issued by the Central Investigation Agency seeking the presence of the district collectors of Vellore, Tiruchirappalli, Karur, Thanjavur and Ariyalur in connection with the ongoing investigation.

The ED has moved the Supreme Court against the Supreme Court’s order saying the non-cooperation would hamper its investigation.

The Supreme Court had stayed the Supreme Court’s order granting relief to the district collectors and said the plea taken by Tamil Nadu and its officials was “strange and unusual” and could lead to delay in the investigation into ED in the area of money laundering in connection with the FIRs.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WhatsNew2Day staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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