The Enforcement Directorate in the case of Enforcement Directorate v. State of Maharashtra & Ors. Contented that the FIR filed by Mumbai Police was a transparent attempt by the State to impede multiple probes launched against several ministers of state with ties to the ruling party.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a petition with the Bombay High Court, requesting that a probe against businessman Jitendra Navlani be transferred from the Mumbai Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
The police’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had filed a FIR against Navlani for his alleged involvement in a corruption case, alleging that he extorted 58 crores from private enterprises between 2015 and 2021.
According to the FIR, he pretended to be ED liaison officers in order to extort money.
The plea, submitted by Union panel advocate DP Singh, said that the FIR was tainted with deception and was a transparent attempt by the State bureaucracy to derail multiple probes launched against state politicians.“several of whom are closely connected with the ruling dispensation in the State”.
Despite the fact that ED officers are not named as defendants in the FIR, statements by top politicians such as Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut raised suspicions that the State’s inquiry had begun with a clear goal in mind.
Raut recently tweeted that ED officers and Navlani extorted over a hundred crore from builders and business offices, and that he had sent Prime Minister Narendra Modi a letter about it.
“It is evident that the investigation by the State police has been started with obvious purpose and will not be unbiased or objective, rather the entire action of registering a criminal case is clearly motivated to derail the statutory investigation and to keep the officers of ED under threat of malicious and vexatious criminal prosecution,” The Plea Underscored
To ensure that the inquiry proceeds fairly, the ED requested that the Court issue an order directing the probe to be transferred to any impartial body, such as the CBI.
“If such a malafide and misconceived open ended investigation is allowed to go on it will demoralise the ED officers and affect their morale,” The Plea Contented
In the meanwhile, the plea pleads for “no coercive action” against the ED officials.
On June 2, a bench of Justices Milind Jadhav and Abhay Ahuja is expected to hear the case.