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Supreme Court Extends Ad-Interim Stay On ED Probe Against TN Minister Anitha Radhakrishnan

Rintu Mariam Biju
19 Oct 2022 4:59 PM GMT
Supreme Court Extends Ad-Interim Stay On ED Probe Against TN Minister Anitha Radhakrishnan

The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday extended the ad-interim stay granted by the Madras High Court to the Minister of Fisheries, Fishermen Welfare and Animal Husbandry for the State of Tamil Nadu, Anitha Radhakrishnan against probe by Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The High Court had vacated the ad-interim stay granted to Anitha on August 4. This order prompted him to move the Supreme Court.

A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravikumar observed,

"We have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and consider it appropriate, in the given facts and circumstances, to allow the ex-parte ad-interim order passed by the High Court dt. 29.06.2022 to continue for a period of two months and let the substantive petition, which is fixed for hearing before the High Court on 28.10.2022 be heard on merits as expeditiously as possible."

The Bench however made it clear that if the petitioner fails to cooperate in expeditious disposal of the petition before the High Court or seek any unnecessary adjournments, the High Court would ve at liberty to vacate the interim order.

The allegation against the Minister was that while serving as an MLA of Tiruchendur Assembly Constituency and subsequently as a Minister for Housing and Urban Development Department during the period from 2002-2006, he acquired assets disproportionate to his known sources of income to the tune of Rs.2,68,24,7555/- in his name, his wife's name, two brothers and three sons. The matter is pending in the court of Principal District and Sessions Judge, Thoothukudi.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the petitioner argued that his interim order was vacated for no reason. "I had an interim order on the legal question, which I will indicate."

"Only jurisdiction?", the Court asked.

"Question was 13 (1) (e) was added to the schedule of the PMLA on June 1, 09. What is included in the schedule is the predicate offence. The predicate offence is supposed to be 13 (1) (e) added on 1st June, 09 and under the PC Act, the cheque period in my case is, 2001 to 2006….Everyday, it happens before your Lordships, don't take precipitative action. We will hear it after three days."

Further, Rohatgi stated that the petitioner would be arrested of the ad-interim order of the High Court is not extended.

The Court was also told that the case before the High Court is coming up on October 28.

"How is it vacated? High Court said that the wssue cannot be kept pending endlessly. What does that mean? This is completely without reason. This is not the way you vacate an order", Rohatgi further argued.

"Let the matter be decided finally by the High Court", the Bench said.

"But can my interim order be vacated like this, milords?", the senior advocate queried. Convinved, the bench proceeded to modify the High Court's order dated August 4 and disposed of the SLP.

"Since the legal question raised by the petitioner goes to the root of the matter, it was considered by the Division Bench of the High Court and ex-parte ad-interim protection was extended to him by an order dated 29.06.2022 and without any reasonable cause/justification, the same has been vacated by subsequent order dated impugned 04.08.2022 without even prima facie examining the substance of the submissions made and noticed while passing of the initial ex-parte ad-interim order dated 29.06.2022."

Case Title: Anitha R. Radhakrishnan Versus The Directorate Of Enforcement And Anr | Slp(Crl) No. 9581-9582/2022 Ii-C

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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