Bombay High Court granted protection to Purvesh Sarnaik from coercive action, in an alleged money laundering case.The bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale maintained that the protection is conditional and subject to Purvesh’s co-operation with the Enforcement Directorate and the conclusion of the petition.
A criminal writ petition was filed by Pratap Sarnaik (Shiv Sena MLA), his sons Vihang and Purvesh, and his brother-in-law Yogesh Chandegala through Amit Desai, challenging ED’s investigation and the summons against themselves in an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR).
Desai submitted that the ongoing ED probe is sought against Sarnaik and family only because he is a “member of the ruling party, an MLA who took up the cudgels of important matters, including the Anvay naik suicide case, journalist Arnab Goswami’s alleged role in the case.”
He also submitted that further probe by ED in absence of specific leave granted by the magistrate would be illegal.Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing ED, contended that the investigation was justified and legally appropriate and that no permission from the magistrate to continue the probe is necessary.
Singh also opposed the plea stating that the petitioners cannot seek similar reliefs from apex court and the High Court instantaneously.The bench noted that protection to the fourth petitioner is granted solely because other three have already been granted with similar relief, but refused to put a stay on ED’s investigation.