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Friday, April 19, 2024

SC grants interim bail to ED officer Ankit Tiwari

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to Ankit Tiwari, an officer of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), who was arrested by Tamil Nadu police in December last year on charges of bribery.

A bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan granted bail to Tiwari on the condition that he would not leave the state without official permission and surrender his passport if asked to do so.

Tiwari approached the Supreme Court after his second bail application was rejected by the Madras High Court last week.

Tiwari was arrested last year by the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) for allegedly accepting a bribe of ₹20 lakh.

The top court had earlier stayed the DVAC probe against Tiwari.

The Supreme Court had earlier suggested that a judicial body could monitor cases in which investigations are sought to be conducted by both state agencies as well as central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The bench was also hearing another petition filed by the ED alleging non-cooperation by the Tamil Nadu government in sharing FIRs concerning probes into money laundering cases. The ED also prayed that the probe into the bribery case against Ankit Tiwari (currently being probed by the DVAC) be handed over to the CBI.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court hinted that guidelines could be evolved to tackle apprehensions of bias by state investigation agencies or “vindictiveness” by central investigating agencies when dealing with such matters.

Today, the Court was told that ED had not filed the rejoinder in their case against the TN government. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju responded that it would be submitted.

The Court granted two weeks to the ED to file the rejoinder and asked the DVAC to file a counter affidavit within two weeks of Tiwari’s plea for regular bail.

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