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Supreme Court to hear Opposition plea against ED, CBI arrests on Wednesday


Published on: April 3, 2023 | Updated on: April 3, 2023

Supreme Court of India (PTI)

NEW DELHI; The Supreme Court is due to hear on Wednesday a plea moved jointly by the Congress and 13 other Opposition parties against the alleged arbitrary arrest of their leaders by Central investigative agencies like the ED (Enforcement Directorate) and the CBI.

As per the cause list published by the apex Court on its website, a bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala will hear the plea on April 5, which alleges coercive criminal processes against Opposition political leaders.

On March 24, CJI Chandrachud allowed the urgent listing of the matter when senior advocate Abhishek "Manu" Singhvi mentioned it. The senior advocate submitted before the court that the plea moved jointly by 14 Opposition parties was not meant to affect existing investigations and was only intended for enforcement of pre-arrest and post-arrest guidelines.

The petitioners claimed that between 2004 and 2014, of the 72 political leaders investigated by the CBI, 43 (under 60%) were from the then Opposition. Now, the same figure has risen to over 95 per cent.

The same pattern is reflected in the ED’s investigations too, with the proportion of Opposition leaders from the total number of politicians investigated rising from 54 per cent (before 2014) to 95 per cent (after 2014).

"Investigating agencies such as the CBI and the ED are being increasingly deployed in a selective and targeted manner with a view to completely crush political dissent and upend the fundamental premises of a representative democracy", alleged the statement further.

The 14 parties claimed that together they represent 42.5 per cent of the votes cast in the 2019 general election and hold power in 11 states/UTs now.

The political parties forming the petitioners are INC, DMK, RJD, BRS, Trinamul Congress, AAP, NCP, Shiv Sena (UBT), JMM, JD(U), CPI(M), CPI, Samajwadi Party and J&K National Conference.