Saturday, April 20, 2024

Supreme Court directs ED to provide grounds of arrest in writing

The Supreme Court upheld its judgement that the Enforcement Directorate has to furnish the grounds of arrest in writing to accused persons at the time of their arrest.

A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Sanjay Kumar on March 20 has dismissed a petition by the Union government seeking a review of the judgement passed in October.

“We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers, and we do not find any error, much less apparent, in the order impugned, warranting its reconsideration,” the bench said.

On October 3, 2023, the court ordered that the Enforcement Directorate must comply with the constitutional and statutory right of the accused to be informed about the reason before arrest in cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The judgement was passed during the hearing of the Pankaj Bansal and Basant Bansal case, in which directors of real estate firm M3M were accused of involvement in a money-laundering case. They had challenged an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which declined his plea to set aside their arrest.

The Supreme Court considered their appeals and ordered them to be released on October 3.
The bench further said that if the grounds of arrest are only read out verbally to the accused persons and this fact is later disputed, the case may boil down to the word of the arrested person against that of the agency’s officer.

If sensitive information is part of the grounds of arrest, that specific detail could be deleted and an edited copy can be made available to the accused person.


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