[Masala Bonds Case] Election Cannot Be A Reason To Postpone Investigation: ED Tells Kerala HC In Appeal To Summon Former Minister Thomas Isaac

Tellmy Jolly

12 April 2024 1:00 PM GMT

  • [Masala Bonds Case] Election Cannot Be A Reason To Postpone Investigation: ED Tells Kerala HC In Appeal To Summon Former Minister Thomas Isaac

    The Enforcement Directorate has moved an appeal before the Kerala High Court against the order of the single judge directing that former Finance Minister Thomas Isaac shall not be summoned for investigation until the conclusion of the 2024 General Elections since he is a contesting candidate from Pathanamthitta constituency. On April 09, the single bench of Justice T R Ravi adjourned the...

    The Enforcement Directorate has moved an appeal before the Kerala High Court against the order of the single judge directing that former Finance Minister Thomas Isaac shall not be summoned for investigation until the conclusion of the 2024 General Elections since he is a contesting candidate from Pathanamthitta constituency.

    On April 09, the single bench of Justice T R Ravi adjourned the hearings in the masala bonds case stating that it was improper to disturb a candidate who is contesting for Parliamentary elections during the election time. The single judge had adjourned the hearing to May 22, that is upon reopening of Court after summer vacation. 

    The Division Bench comprising Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice M A Abdul Hakhim said the matter could be heard soon after elections, that is in the last week of April or first week of May. β€œThe elections is scheduled in Kerala on 26 April, 2024. Both the parties (ED and Dr Isaac) are agreeable to hear the matter immediately after the elections,” stated the Court. 

    Additional Solicitor General of India (ASGI) A.R.L.Sundaresan submitted before the Court that politics is not a reason to interfere with law. The ASGI argued that ED is entitled to continue its investigation and elections cannot be a reason to postpone the investigation. It was argued that the ED did not issue summons after the election was notified but summons were issued much before the elections. It was also argued that the ED investigation was almost over and Dr Issac has to co-operae with the summons to conclude the investigation. It was submitted that the single judge on perusal of documents submitted by ED had found that there is some explanations to be sought from Dr Isaac and hence it was argued that elections should not be the only ground to delay the investigation.

    The counsel on behalf of Dr Isaac submitted that ED investigation during the brink of the election would affect his election prospects. It was argued that the ED has no bonafide and summons were issued without a prima facie case.

    Case title: Enforcement Directorate v Thomas Isaac

    Case number: WA 571/2024

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