Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court has criticized the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering case, stating that the probe agency must not act vindictively and should demonstrate the highest degree of fairness. The court canceled the arrests of Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal, directors of M3M, a realty group based in Gurugram.

In June, the Bansals sought bail after a Punjab and Haryana High Court order dismissed their request. The Supreme Court overturned the arrest of the Bansals, observing that they were summoned for questioning and subsequently arrested on the same day in a separate case registered by the Enforcement Directorate.

In its judgment released today, the Supreme Court emphasized that every action of the Enforcement Directorate should be transparent, above board, and adhere to the highest standards of fair play. The court stated that the probe agency failed to discharge its functions and powers in this particular case.

The judges also emphasized that the Enforcement Directorate must not exhibit vindictiveness in its conduct and should be perceived as acting with integrity and impartiality. They stated that the failure of the accused to respond to questions does not provide sufficient grounds for arrest by the agency.

The Supreme Court further explained that the Enforcement Directorate must have specific reasons to believe that the accused are guilty of an offense under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Mere non-cooperation with summons does not justify an arrest, and the agency cannot expect an admission of guilt during interrogation.

Basant and Pankaj Bansal were arrested in connection with an alleged bribery case involving Sudhir Parmar, a former special judge for the Enforcement Directorate, and Roop Kumar Bansal, another director of the realty firm. The agency claimed there was reliable information suggesting that Sudhir Parmar was showing favoritism to Roop Kumar Bansal and Basant Bansal.

The Bansals were initially summoned for investigation and subsequently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.

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By admin