Supreme Court stays all proceedings against ED officer held by TN vigilance for accepting bribe

Thursday’s order from the top court seemed to be a partial relief, for the accused, Ankit Tiwari, as the agency claimed before the SC that the evidence against him exists in the case.
Supreme Court
Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court in an order on Thursday stayed all the proceedings against ED officer Ankit Tiwari, who was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) last month, alleging that he had been caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 20 lakh from a doctor in Dindigul district.

Thursday’s order from the top court seemed to be a partial relief, for the accused, Tiwari, as the agency claimed before the SC that the evidence against him exists in the case.

As per the prosection case before the apex court, Tiwari, along with his team of ED (Enforcement Directorate) officers, had been allegedly threatening several people and receiving bribes in the name of closing their case in the probe agency.

The bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan, suggested that the parties try to explore a mechanism which should be fair, transparent and which must achieve the ultimate objective of a fair investigation so that no suspect goes scot-free.

The court also on Thursday sought a reply from the Tamil Nadu government on ED’s petition for entrusting the probe to the CBI, adding that the state should also make an endeavor and try to find an effective mechanism for ensuring fair and independent probe in all cases of money laundering.

Senior lawyer and noted legal expert, Kapil Sibal, appearing for the TN government, objected to the ED’s probe in various matters and commented on a probe on the FIRs registered against the minister of the BJP-ruled states, including the Chief Minister of Assam.

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Objecting to this, the Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, senior law officer appearing for the ED, pointed out that it is a political statement.

During the course of the hearing, the court observed that some mechanism or guideline has to be evolved to ensure that genuine cases don’t get hampered just because it is being handled by the central agency and at the same time mala fide and or arbitrary probe won’t take place against any person.

The apex court on Thursday directed the TN govt to present all materials and evidences collected by the State against the accused, Tiwari, before it and fixed the matter for further hearing after two weeks, without giving any date.

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