The Centre has told the Supreme Court that some petitioners challenging the validity of the extension of tenure of the present Enforcement Directorate (ED) director Sanjay Kumar Mishra, have moved the court on behalf of the president and office-bearers of the Indian National Congress (INC), who are being investigated by the ED.
The affidavit filed by Sandeep Gehlot, under-secretary, Department of Revenue, said the petitioners failed to disclose serious cases of money laundering under investigation against several leaders of the party.
“The real motive of the petition is to question the investigation being carried out against the president and certain office-bearers of the INC party..instead of availing alternate remedies like filing an appropriate petition for quashing, etc., under the Code of Criminal Procedure…”
The affidavit added that one of the petitioners is the general secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee, who moved the court under Article 32 espousing the cause of her political masters when there is nothing barring the concerned persons who are under investigation from approaching competent court for any appropriate relief.
“The present petition is the misuse of Article 32 of the Constitution, which is clearly being filed in a representative capacity for and on behalf of the president and the office-bearers of the INC, who are being investigated by the ED, and are fully competent to approach respective courts for appropriate statutory relief…therefore, the present petition is clearly motivated by an oblique personal interest rather than any public interest,” added the affidavit.
The affidavit added that the petitions have been filed by leaders of certain recognised political parties and the apex court had held that PIL should not be used for political or personal interest, and should not become a tool at the hands of vested interests for their political or personal gain. The top court has scheduled the matter for hearing next week.
On Monday, the Supreme Court appointed senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan as amicus curiae in connection with a clutch of petitions challenging the validity of the extension given to the tenure of the present Enforcement Directorate (ED) director Sanjay Kumar Mishra.
The affidavit has been filed in response to the batch of eight petitions filed by Trinamool Congress and Congress leaders — Dr. Jaya Thakur, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Saket Gokhale, Mahua Moitra — and other petitions filed by advocate M.L. Sharma, Krishna Chander Singh, and Vineet Narain, challenging the extension of tenure of the ED director.
The petitioners have argued that the extension given to Mishra is a blatant violation of the top court’s directions by promulgating an ordinance to amend the Central Vigilance Commission Act to allow an extension up to 5 years for the term of ED Director.