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Supreme Court rebukes Tamil Nadu for challenging ED summons to District Collectors

The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the Tamil Nadu government for challenging the summons issued to five District Collectors of the Stare by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money-laundering case.

The Bench of Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal orally observed that the summons could have been challenged by the District Collectors themselves, in their personal capacity.

It questioned the state government’s move to file a writ petition before the Madras High Court against the summons.

The Apex Court observed that the government servants were duty bound to respond to such summons and cooperate with probes.

It asked the state government about the law under which it challenged the ED summons.

It noted that the national agency had the right to probe the government officials with regard to scheduled offences under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The government servants were bound to respond to such summons, noted the Court.

The national agency had issued summons to the government servants in connection with the ED’s probe into an alleged illegal sand mining scam in Tamil Nadu.

The Madras High Court had passed an interim order in November last year, putting a stay on the operation of ED’s summons.

The national agency moved the Apex Court against the High Court verdict.

The Bench issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government and the five District Collectors, and listed the case for further hearing on February 26.

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