Opposition political parties have been alleging misuse of central agencies by the government to suppress any criticism.
The parties are seeking pre- and post-arrest guidelines to be followed by the central probe agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud took note of the submissions of senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the opposition parties such as the DMK, RJD, Bharat Rashtra Samiti and the Trinamool Congress, and said the plea would be taken up for hearing on April 5.
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“Ninety five per cent cases are against opposition leaders. We are asking for pre-arrest guidelines and post-arrest guidelines,” Singhvi said.
Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao, National Conference (JKNC) chief Farooq Abdullah, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, were amongst those who expressed their concerns over the misuse of central agencies like Enforcement Directorate and CBI against the Opposition. These leaders recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing their concerns.
Asked whether the “misuse” of the central agencies will increase as the 2024 Lok Sabha election approaches, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said, “It might be the case but it won’t help the saffron camp as preparations for the Lok Sabha polls would start in the next few months.”
The name of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, wanted in a Rs 13,000-crore scam in the Punjab National Bank, was removed from the Interpol database of Red Notices on the basis of his plea to the Lyon-headquartered agency.
Tagging a media report, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh recently said in a tweet, “Modi Sarkar ke Do Bhai ED aur CBI pursue Opposition leaders with great vigour in furtherance of the PM’s politics of vendetta & intimidation. But they allow Interpol to give a lifesaver to Mehul Choksi!”
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a criminal defamation case indicates that central agencies and courts are heading towards a direction that invites dictatorship and suppresses the voice of the opposition.
Talking to reporters, Raut said Gandhi had made a statement at a political rally and it has to be made clear who has been defamed.
“The court is in Surat, Gujarat. So it was not expected that the result was different,” Raut said.