SC slams ED’s handling of Shivakumar’s bail plea

New Delhi, Nov 15 : The Supreme Court on Friday slammed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for doing a shoddy job of “copy and paste” when challenging the bail granted to ex-Karnataka minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar referred to him in the petition as “former Home Minister and Finance Minister”.

A bench headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman said: “This is not the way you treat the citizens.”

The bench expressed its anguish after Shivakumar’s counsel, senior Advocates A.M. Singhvi and Mukul Rohtagi noted the contents of the petition in question had been copied from the petition filed against senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram, who is currently lodged in jail.

The apex court thereafter junked the ED’s petition challenging the Delhi High Court order granting bail to the Congress leader from Karnataka.

The court also expressed its unhappiness after being informed by the counsel representing Shivakumar that the ED has “resurrected” the stringent Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which was quashed in 2017.

The court had held this section as violative of the right to liberty. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended that Rs 142 crore of laundered money was recovered in this case, but the apex court did not accept his contention.

Justice Nariman, who delivered the minority judgement in Sabarimala review, told the Solicitor General to advise the government to read the judgement passed by the top court in the Sabarimala case on Thursday.

“Tell them our judgements are not to be played with,” said Justice Nariman.

He told the Centre that an impression has been created that its officers don’t comply with court orders. Justice Nariman also asked the Solicitor General to apprise the Centre and its officers of his dissenting judgement in the Sabarimala case.

“Ask your government and its officials to carefully read our judgement in Sabarimala. Tell them our judgements are not be played with. Kindly instruct your officers to read what the court has said about Article 141,” said the judge.

According to Article 141, the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India.

“Our orders must be complied with. We won’t allow any violation,” the judge said.

/IANS

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