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"Explain How The Grounds Of Arrest Are Informed To Arrested Person": Delhi High Court Asks 'Enforcement Directorate'

Sparsh Upadhyay
26 July 2021 3:50 AM GMT
Explain How The Grounds Of Arrest Are Informed To Arrested Person: Delhi High Court Asks Enforcement Directorate
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The Delhi High Court last week asked the Director of Enforcement Directorate to explain as to how the grounds of arrest are conveyed to an arrested person in terms of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in the case of D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal AIR 1997 SC 610. The Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing ED's plea assailing a trial court's order which directed it to...

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The Delhi High Court last week asked the Director of Enforcement Directorate to explain as to how the grounds of arrest are conveyed to an arrested person in terms of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in the case of D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal AIR 1997 SC 610.

The Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing ED's plea assailing a trial court's order which directed it to supply a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) to RJD Rajya Sabha MP Amarendra Dhari Singh.

It may be noted that the RJD MP has been arrested in a money laundering case related to an alleged fertilizer scam.

Arguments put forth by ED

It was argued by the Additional Solicitor General appearing for ED that there was no specific power with the Special Judge under the Cr.P.C. to pass directions to the petitioner to supply the copy of the ECIR.

It was further argued that no prejudice had been caused to the RJD MP by the non-supply of the ECIR, as it is not like an FIR on the basis whereof investigation is started.

ED further argued that it is bound to file a complaint case in the matter and till summons are issued to the RJD MP, he can't interfere in the proceedings nor ask for any document.

"Till date neither any complaint case has been filed nor has any process been issued against the respondent. The complaint having not been filed till date there can be no quashing of the complaint even for which the respondent may seek necessary documents," argued ASG SV Raju.

ED also argued that the claim of the respondent that his defence is affected cannot be looked into at the instant stage for the reason the stage of leading defence evidence has not reached.

Court's query

Significantly, the Court raised a categorical query that since the RJD MP had already been arrested in pursuance to the recording of ECIR No. DLZO-1/43/2021 under Section 3/4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (in short 'PMLA') in case the copy of the ECIR was not provided as to how the respondent was informed of the grounds of arrest in writing.

To this, the Additional Solicitor General stated that the grounds of arrest were duly informed to him, however, the document in this regard could not be placed on record.

It was contended that the grounds of arrest were duly shown to the Trial Court which perused the same physically at the time of granting the remand order.

The Court, however, directed ED to submit whether the ECIR "is merely a number or records some substantive information therein for the petitioner (ED) to start the investigation thereon prior to filing of the complaint case".

Case title - Directorate Of Enforcement v. Amarendra Dhari Singh

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