SC poser to TN for filing plea challenging ED summons

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has questioned the Tamil Nadu government for filing a plea in the Madras High Court against the Enforcement Directorate for its probe in a money laundering case.

The central probe agency had summoned the district collectors of Vellore, Tiruchirappalli, Karur, Thanjavur and Ariyalur in connection with its probe in the illegal sand mining case.

The state government along with the bureaucrats had moved the Madras High Court that stayed the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate. The agency had moved the top court against the order.

”How can the state file this writ petition? Under which law? You satisfy us on how the state is interested and how it can file this writ petition against Enforcement Directorate. How is the state aggrieved,” a bench comprising justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal asked the counsel appearing for Tamilnadu government.

The bench said the officials should cooperate with the ED.

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for the state government, said that Tamil Nadu is bound to protect its officials from ”illegal” probe of the agency.

The high court, while staying the summons, had said that the ED was venturing into a fishing expedition to find out whether information and evidence collected from the district administration can be processed further from other sources to find out commission of the scheduled offences.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the probe agency, told court that the district collectors are not among the accused and were summoned only as witnesses.