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Crime, Police And Law

ED alleges non-compliance by District Collectors in Tamil Nadu sand mining case

By Jhanak Singh      06 May, 2024 08:54 PM      0 Comments
ED Alleges Non Compliance by District Collectors in Tamil Nadu Sand Mining Case

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate on Monday claimed before the Supreme Court that four District Collectors, who appeared before the agency in response to summons, did not share all the requisite documents in the sand mining case of Tamil Nadu.

Senior advocates, Kapil Sibal and Amit Anand Tiwari for the State and four district collectors, however, countered the claim before a bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi, and Pankaj Mithal, and claimed that they have appeared before the ED as per the court's order and shared the documents sought in summons.

"Everything as sought in summons has been shared," they submitted.

The ED's counsel Zoheb Hossain said, "No, they have not shared all the documents. Let me supply on affidavit. In their statements they said they will give later, let me place it in some weeks time."

Sibal also alleged that the ED made the DCs arrive at 8 am in the morning and sit till 6 pm.

To this, the bench told the ED that it could not do that.

"Do not keep them waiting, they have to tend to their districts. Do not make them wait unnecessarily," the bench told the agency.

The bench asked the ED to file a compliance affidavit till then in the case, and fixed the matter for further hearing after summer vacations after July 07.

On April 02, the bench had said that the ED can summon 'any person' for 'any information'.

The top court had ordered these four District Collectors to appear in person before the ED on April 25, while strongly deprecating for not being present in response to the ED summons.

The court had then taken exception to the failure of the officers to appear before the investigating agency, as this showed that the officers don't have either the respect for the court nor the law much less the Constitution of India.

"Such an approach is strongly deprecated. In our opinion, such cavalier approach, will land them in a difficult situation. When the court had passed the order directing them to appear in response of the summons issued by the ED, they were expected to obey the same order and remain present before the ED," the bench had said.

On February 27, the apex court had stayed the Madras High Court order, which had in November, 2023 halted the summons issued by the ED against the District Collectors in connection with sand mining scam case. It said state government's plea against summons was prima facie on misconception of law.

The Madras High Court had on November 28, 2023 stayed the summons issued by the central probe agency seeking the presence of district collectors of Vellore, Tiruchirappalli, Karur, Thanjavur and Ariyalur in connection with its ongoing probe in sand mining case.



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