Supreme Court slams 5 Tamil Nadu DMs for not appearing before ED in probe linked to illegal sand mining

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday (April 2) slammed the five Tamil Nadu district magistrates (DMs) for not appearing physically before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) despite its orders and asked them to appear before the central agency personally on April 25 in a money laundering probe connected to alleged illegal sand mining in the state.

Officials adopted a ‘cavalier approach’: Apex Court

A bench comprising Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal said the said officials adopted a “cavalier approach” and their action shows that they have no respect for the court, law and the Constitution.

“In our opinion, such a cavalier approach will land them in a difficult situation. When the court had passed the order directing them to appear in response to the summons issued by the ED, they were expected to obey the same order and remain present before the ED,” the bench said and added, “This shows that the officers don’t have either respect for the court or the law much less the Constitution of India. Such an approach is strongly deprecated.”

Apex Court directed 5 district collectors to physically appear before ED

The top court had on February 27 directed the five district collectors of Vellore, Tiruchirappalli, Karur, Thanjavur and Ariyalur to appear before the ED in connection with an ongoing money laundering probe.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Amit Anand Tiwari, who appeared for the Tamil Nadu government, told the apex court bench that the officials have been busy with Lok Sabha elections scheduled in the state on April 19 and other administrative works.

The bench, however, said that the officials should have appeared before the ED and explained the reasons and said that they are being given one last opportunity to appear before the probe agency in connection with the money laundering probe.

Apex Court was hearing a plea by ED challenging High Court order staying execution of ED summons to 5 district collectors

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by the ED challenging an order of the Madras High Court staying the execution of summons issued by the ED seeking personal appearance of district collectors in connection with its ongoing probe in the alleged illegal sand mining in Tamil Nadu.

Apex Court earlier stayed High Court order

The apex court, while staying the execution of the High Court order staying the summons issued to the five district collectors, had, said that the plea of Tamil Nadu and its officials against the ED summons in the High Court was “strange and unusual” and thoroughly misconceived.

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