By Diksha Mehta-
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Bombay High Court by Advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyaya seeking transparency in the working of the Enforcement Directorate and other Central Investigative Agencies like the Income Tax Department and the CBI.
The plea was heard by a Bench comprising the Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni and a notice was issued by the High Court for the same.
The ED and Income Tax Commissioner appearing through their counsels argued that the PIL was not maintainable.
They stated that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 already provided clear procedure to be followed by the investigative agencies and the plea seeking amendments to the Act should not be entertained.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh shall be appearing on behalf of the CBI and other central investigative agencies.
The plea further entails that there is a need for measures to include the general public’s participation in money laundering cases being investigated by the ED.
It further goes on to state that it is not public information as to how the ED chooses which case to investigate out of more than a thousand offences that have arisen in the year 2020 itself.
The petitioner gave a few suggestions to ensure transparency in the functioning of the ED like all the Information Reports of ED’s cases be displayed on its official website; every aspect of a case starting from the registering of an ‘scheduled offence’, proceedings and attaching of properties should be posted on the website.
Apart from that, all investigative agencies like the CBI and others should post a copy of the FIR on their official website within 24 hours.
The HC gave time to all the agencies to file their reply and serve a copy of the same to Ghanshyam Upadhyaya.