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NEW DELHI: With the Centre and many opposition-governed states at loggerheads over probes done by CBI, ED and other central agencies, Supreme Court on Monday asked whether there could be judicial oversight to ensure that culprits do not go scot-free because of adversarial equations between the Centre and state govts.
A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanathan, which was hearing a petition filed by ED seeking transfer of the bribery case against one of its officials allegedly caught red-handed by TN police to CBI, said some mechanism has to be put in place to ensure free & fair probe. tnn
Under guise of probe, TN officials took away key files: ED to SC
Additional solicitor general S V Raju, appearing for ED, told the bench that the state, under the guise of a probe into the bribery case, took away crucial documents pertaining to other cases involving state ministers.
But Tamil Nadu govt accused the central agency of protecting the corrupt official. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for the state, told the bench that nothing would happen against the corrupt official if the case was handed over to CBI, and questioned how ED could approach the apex court to protect him. They said the probe against central govt officials in such cases had to be done by the state police. After a brief hearing, the bench posted for March 20.
On the previous hearing on Jan 25, the court had said a mechanism needed to be put in place so that a fair and transparent investigation was not thwarted and, also, to eliminate any malafide or political vendetta in the probe.
“Some kind of best practice has to be evolved… There may be genuine cases where ED may have to go in, there may be cases where they are brought into malafide. We want some kind of best practice, there has to be a mechanism. Something has to be evolved so that offenders in genuine cases don’t go scot-free merely because it is being handled by the central agency, at at the same time, there is no malafide witch-hunting,” the bench had said.



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