October 4, 2023
The Hon’ble Supreme Court on Tuesday took strong outlier to the conduct of the all-powerful Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its probe for curbing economic offence of money laundering. The Apex Court stated no acceptance to the ED’s "reeks of arbitrariness” in the case of Pankaj Bansal vs. Union of India and Ors. related to the arrest of M3M Group directors Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal and directed for the immediate release of both the accused.
The bench comprised of Justice A.S. Bopanna along with PV Sanjay Kumar opined a person’s right to know the reasons for their arrest is a constitutional right under Article 22 (1).
The bench said, “Being a premier investigating agency charged with the onerous responsibility of curbing debilitating economic offence of money laundering in our country, every action of the ED in the course of such exercise is expected to be transparent, above board and conforming to the pristine standards of fair play in action. The ED, mantled with far-reaching powers under the stringent Act of 2002, is not expected to be vindictive in its conduct and must be seen to be acting with utmost probity and with the highest degree of dispassion and fairness.”
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