ED Summons to District Collectors A ‘Fishing Expedition’ Without Showing Existence Of Proceeds Of Crime: Madras High Court.
Title : State of Tamil Nadu v Enforcement Directorate
Case No. : W.P.Nos.33459 to 33468 of 2023
Decided on : 30.11.2023.
CORAM : HONBLE JUSTICE S.S.SUNDAR, J. AND SUNDER MOHAN, J
All the above writ petitions are filed by the State Government along with the Additional Chief Secretary to Government, Water Resources Department and the District Collectors concerned. Writ Petition Nos.33459, 33460, 33461, 33462 & 33467 of 2023 are filed by the State Government and two others to quash the respective impugned summon issued to the District Collector of Vellore District, Trichy District, Karur District, Thanjavur District and Ariyalur District, requiring the appearance of the respective District Collectors to give evidence and produce records as indicated in the annexure, in connection with the investigation/proceedings under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 .
Fact of the Case
The respondent, namely, the Assistant Director, Directorate of Enforcement has filed an objection affidavit. The learned Additional Solicitor General raised a preliminary objection stating that the writ petitions are not maintainable by the State Government, as the State is not an aggrieved person to challenge the process of investigation. The learned Additional Solicitor General also relied upon a few complaints registered in different parts of the State. Referring to the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the learned Additional Solicitor General submitted that as per the First Information Report mentioned in the ECIR, prima facie, it is observed that the activities of illegal mining are happening in the State of Tamil Nadu in collusion with officials and local mafia, hand in glove.
Case Analysis and Judgment
Court sincerely appreciates the way in which the respondent had responded to these writ petitions within a short time. A detailed affidavit of objection is filed by the respondent raising several issues. The learned Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioners requested time to file reply in response to the objection in the form of affidavit. The learned Additional Solicitor General also submitted that they may be permitted to file a detailed counter affidavit.
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