‘No way to treat citizens’: Supreme Court rebukes ED on plea against Shivakumar bail

‘No way to treat citizens’: Supreme Court rebukes ED on plea against Shivakumar bail

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the Enforcement Directorate appeal against release of Congress leader DK Shivakumar on bail, with an observation that the way the federal agency was treating citizens was not right. “This wasn’t the way to treat citizens,” Justice RF Nariman remarked before dismissing the ED’s appeal.

As the judges were wrapping up the case, the Centre’s second most senior law officer Tushar Mehta made one last attempt and asked the court not to dismiss the ED appeal.

Justice Nariman responded with a sharp warning.

“Please read our dissenting judgment in Sabarimala. Our judgments are not to be played with. Tell your government that our judgments stand,” Justice Nariman shot back.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was taken aback, and assured the judges that “all Supreme Court judgments are taken seriously”.

DK Shivakumar, the senior Karnataka Congress leader, was last month released on bail by the Delhi High Court in a money laundering case. The judge had ruled out any chance that he could tamper with evidence, pointing out that the 57-year-old lawmaker belonged to the opposition and not the ruling party.

By then, the seven-time MLA Shivakumar had spent nearly two months in jail on charges of money laundering.

The Congress has alleged that the case against Shivakumar, which has its origins in raids carried out by the income tax when he had hosted Gujarat lawmakers in 2017, was part of an elaborate exercise by the two agencies to target the senior leader.

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