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Supreme Court pulls up ED for sealing properties

Supreme Court pulls up ED for sealing properties

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday pulled up the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for proceeding to seal some properties and taking its symbolic possession despite the matter being listed for hearing on Friday and asked the probe agency to take corrective action to undo that mischief.

The top court noted that pursuant to its March 28 order, the petitioners had served the copy of petition on the central agency on March 30 and it was clearly mentioned in the order that the matter would be heard on April 1.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and A S Oka was informed by the counsel appearing for the petitioners that they had served the copy of petition to the central agency and on March 31, the ED went across the properties and tried to seal them and they have also taken the notional possession. That order (of March 28) clearly records that the matter will be taken on April 1, 2022. Despite that, the officials of the respondent (ED) proceeded to seal the properties in question and take symbolic possession on March 31, the bench observed.

The top court, which was hearing a petition against a March order passed by the Bombay High Court, noted that the basic question involved in the matter is whether the provisional attachment order of June 3, 2021 ceases to be in force on expiry of 180 days.

It said if that issue is answered in favour of the petitioners, then no action could be taken by the authority on the basis of such order.

We call upon the respondent to explain the position and take remedial measures, as may be advised, before the next date and submit response before the next date on April 8, the bench said.

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