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Supreme Court questions Tamil Nadu's opposition to ED summons in sand mining probe

In a significant development, the apex court has initiated a thorough inquiry into the sand mining scam, seeking clarification from the Tamil Nadu government on various aspects related to the illicit practice.

Nitin Kumar Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Published on: February 23, 2024 13:36 IST
Supreme Court Tamil Nadu
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi.

In a significant development, the Supreme Court has questioned the Tamil Nadu government's resistance to Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons regarding an alleged illegal sand mining scam. The court's response came as both the state government and the probe agency filed petitions related to the case.

ED summons and state's challenge

The ED's investigation into the alleged illegal sand mining scam has put five district collectors of Tamil Nadu under scrutiny, leading to the issuance of summons by the agency. In response, the state government filed a writ petition challenging these summons, prompting the ED to seek Supreme Court intervention to halt the interference.

Court's inquiry and notice

During the proceedings, Justice Bela M Trivedi queried the state's actions, questioning the basis for filing a writ petition and its implications on federal principles. Justice Trivedi sought clarity on why the state is troubled by ED summons and its stake in the matter. As a result, the court issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government, seeking detailed explanations on these matters.

State's defense and court's response

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the state, argued that the ED lacks authority to investigate non-scheduled offenses. However, Justice Trivedi pressed for further clarification, emphasising the need for the state to justify its position and the grounds for its opposition to the ED's actions. The court hinted at the possibility of considering a stay on the ED's order for a preliminary inquiry but stressed the importance of receiving comprehensive information from the state.

Next hearing scheduled

The Supreme Court scheduled the next hearing for February 26, where the Tamil Nadu government is expected to present its arguments on the writ petition and address the concerns raised by the court.

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