Tamil Nadu: Is ED On 'Fishing' Expedition Or Has It Sensed A ₹4,370 Crore Scam In TN? Asks Madras HC

Tamil Nadu: Is ED On 'Fishing' Expedition Or Has It Sensed A ₹4,370 Crore Scam In TN? Asks Madras HC

The Tamil Nadu Government and the Collectors of Vellore, Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Ariyalur and Karur had rushed to the court seeking a stay on the summons and also a direction to stay the investigation by the agency.

N ChithraUpdated: Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 09:55 PM IST
article-image
File Photo

Chennai: Is the Enforcement Directorate on a ‘fishing’ expedition looking for evidence of a scam or has it sensed a Rs 4,370 crore sand mining scam in Tamil Nadu? This question came to the fore on Tuesday after the Madras High Court stayed summons issued by the agency to five District Collectors directing them to appear before it in connection with alleged illegal sand mining.

The Tamil Nadu Government and the Collectors of Vellore, Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Ariyalur and Karur had rushed to the court seeking a stay on the summons and also a direction to stay the investigation by the agency.

Madras HC Stays Summons, Questions ED's Approach

In an Objection Affidavit, the ED had submitted that it had gathered scientific evidence with the help of experts from institutions including IIT Kanpur to establish that 24 lakh units of sand had been mined in excess of the permitted volume in the 28 sand mining sites in the last one to two years. With the help of these material, it had alleged that the excess sand mining was worth Rs 4,730 crore, whereas only Rs 36-odd crore was shown as revenue on the records.

Water Resources Department Officials Certify Illegal Mining

The agency also said senior officials of the Water Resources Department had deposed before it certifying the illegal mining. One of the senior officials had deposed that he was under pressure from the office of the Water Resource Department Minister and Secretary not to honour summons by the ED.

High Court Prima Facie Agrees with State

However, on Tuesday, a Bench of Justices S S Sundar and Sunder Mohan said they prima facie agreed with the Tamil Nadu Government’s contention that the ED could not engage in a fishing expedition to identify possible proceeds of crime. The court said, the ED’s action is “just an attempt to investigate the possibility of identifying proceeds of crime as a result of any activity which is not so far registered by the State agencies.”

The court, however, refused to stay the investigation into the sand mining and adjourned the case to December 21.

RECENT STORIES

West Bengal: Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay Of Calcutta High Court To Resign On March 5; Hints At...

West Bengal: Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay Of Calcutta High Court To Resign On March 5; Hints At...

INLD Chief Nafe Singh Rathee Murder: Haryana Police Releases Photos of 3 Suspects

INLD Chief Nafe Singh Rathee Murder: Haryana Police Releases Photos of 3 Suspects

Protesting Farmers To Reach Delhi Without Tractors On March 6

Protesting Farmers To Reach Delhi Without Tractors On March 6

Rajasthan: OBC Dominates First List Of BJP Candidates

Rajasthan: OBC Dominates First List Of BJP Candidates

'Tarnishing Image Of Bengaluru & Karnataka': Dy CM DK Shivakumar Slams BJP Over Remarks On...

'Tarnishing Image Of Bengaluru & Karnataka': Dy CM DK Shivakumar Slams BJP Over Remarks On...