New Delhi : In the Chhattisgarh liquor scam case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) not to create an atmosphere of fear. After accusing the Chhattisgarh government’s Enforcement Directorate of misbehaving and trying to frame Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in a money laundering case linked to an alleged Rs 2,000-crore liquor scam in the state, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to Instructed the investigating agency not to create an atmosphere of fear.
ED trying to implicate CM Baghel: Government
The Chhattisgarh government alleged before a bench of justices SK Kaul and A Amanullah that several officials of the state’s excise department have complained that the ED is threatening to arrest them and their family members. Along with this, it has also been said in the allegation that the investigating agency is trying to implicate Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel as well. The government claimed that the officials have said that they will not work in the department.
ED is behaving badly: Kapil Sibal
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Chhattisgarh government, told the bench that the ED was behaving badly. They are threatening the excise officials. This is a surprising situation. Now elections are coming and that’s why this is happening. At the same time, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, opposed the allegations. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju said that the probe agency is probing a scam in Chhattisgarh. On this, the bench said that when you behave in this manner, even a valid reason becomes suspicious. Do not create an atmosphere of fear.
ED threatening non-BJP government
Last month, the Chhattisgarh government had moved the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He had alleged that the central investigative agencies were being used to intimidate, harass and disrupt the normal functioning of the non-BJP government. With this, Chhattisgarh became the first state to challenge the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in court.
Challenging ED proceedings
The Congress government led by Bhupesh Baghel filed the original suit challenging the Act under Article 131 of the Constitution. This article gives a state the right to approach the Supreme Court directly in case of a dispute with the Center or any other state. The Supreme Court was hearing on Tuesday a petition by two people from Chhattisgarh, one of whom has been arrested by the ED in connection with the case. In the petition, the proceedings initiated by the Anti-Money Laundering Agency have been challenged.
52 excise officials accused of harassment
Chhattisgarh filed an application requesting to be impleaded in this petition, claiming that 52 officers of the Excise Department have given written complaints alleging mental and physical harassment by ED officials during investigation. In its plea, Chhattisgarh has claimed that several officials have made serious allegations that not only were they threatened, but their family members were physically assaulted and threatened to sign blank papers or pre-typed documents.
ED officers threatening officials and family members
The petition states that the officials of the Enforcement Directorate are threatening state officials or their family members if they do not give or sign arbitrary statements to implicate the chief minister and other senior officials of the state administration. So they will arrest them and implicate them in false cases. The bench directed the ED to respond to the state’s plea.
Chhattisgarh Liquor Scam: Jharkhand Excise Secretary and Commissioner seeks time from ED team to provide information
Pressure to withdraw statement given in police
The Chhattisgarh government, in its application, claimed that officials who have made written complaints are now being threatened with penal action and withdrawing their statements made before the state police, which in itself is interfering with the investigation of the crime. The government said that the main reason which compelled it to approach the apex court is that the ED’s action was not only coercive, illegal, partisan, arbitrary, politically motivated, but also completely contrary to law. Is outside jurisdiction. He claimed that the respondent investigating agency is working at the behest of its political masters and the investigation is completely biased, non-independent and all steps are pre-planned to bring instability in Chhattisgarh.
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