While giving bail to Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on November 9, a court in Mumbai made scathing observations about the Enforcement Directorate, accusing the agency of selectively arresting individuals. The court also noted that the Enforcement Directorate has a tendency to arrest an accused person immediately but is then slow to prosecute them.
There have been several such instances recently where courts have criticised the agency for its investigation process. This criticism from the court comes after Opposition leaders and civil society members have condemned the central agency for using it vast powers under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to allegedly targets critics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Sanjay Raut’s case
Sanjay Raut was arrested on August 1 in relation to an alleged money-laundering incident in the redevelopment of Patra Chawl, a building with several tenements in Mumbai. A scam of Rs 1,034 crore purportedly took place. Raut, who the agency claims also profited from this scam, allegedly used the money for personal expenses and to purchase real estate.
While deciding Raut’s bail applications, a Prevention of Money Laundering Act special court presided by MG Deshpande noted that his arrest was completely illegal. It said that the offences against him were of civil nature…