12 Dec 2021 4:55 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has granted ad interim relief to the Enforcement Directorate by staying the operation of the notices, issued by West Bengal Police, to its officials performing their statutory functions in Delhi in relation to the coal scam case. The ED is investigating the illegal coal mining case and the role of complainant TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee under the PMLA Act in the New...
The Delhi High Court has granted ad interim relief to the Enforcement Directorate by staying the operation of the notices, issued by West Bengal Police, to its officials performing their statutory functions in Delhi in relation to the coal scam case.
The ED is investigating the illegal coal mining case and the role of complainant TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee under the PMLA Act in the New Delhi Headquarters.
It was the case of the agency that in order to pressurize it's investigating officers who were investigating the case related to illegal coal mining, Abhishek Banerjee had lodged an FIR on date 05.04.2021 against a News Channel and in furtherance of the same, impugned notices were issued to them by the West Bengal Police.
The impugned notices dated August 21, 2021 and July 22, 2021 were issued under sec. 160 CrPC.
Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar, while staying the operation of impugned notices till further orders, observed that a serious challenge was presented by the ED, which prima facie had a considerable merit.
"It may also be noted that the said issue goes to the root of the matter and if the respondents lacks jurisdiction itself to issue the impugned notices, the entire case of the respondents falls," the Court added.
"…I find that the present case is a fit case for grant of ad-interim relief. Therefore, in view of the same, the operation of the notices dated 22.07.2021 and 21.08.2021 passed qua the petitioners in FIR No. 33 dated 05.04.2021 registered by the respondents is stayed till further orders," the Court directed.
The Court accordingly granted four weeks time to the respondents to file their response to the petition and also granted two weeks to the petitioners to file a rejoinder.
The matter will now be considered on February 18, 2022.
The plea averred that the FIR as well as the impugned notices were an abuse of the process of law which have been issued in a malafide manner with the "oblique motive and intent at stifling the fair and impartial investigation being undertaken by Enforcement Directorate for unearthing large financial scams".
The ED had also submitted that the FIR was registered with a malafide intention to derail the investigation under PMLA being conducted by the Directorate of Enforcement.
"That the impugned notice issued under Section 160 ( 1) of CRPC can only be issued to a person who is within the local jurisdiction of that police station or is within the jurisdiction or any adjoining police station. However in the present case the petitioners are posted in Delhi which is clearly outside the jurisdiction of police officer," the plea had said.
Title: ED & Ors. v. State of West Bengal & Ors.
Click Here To Read Order