The Congress on Wednesday attacked the Modi government over the Supreme Court telling the Enforcement Directorate not to create an “atmosphere of fear”, saying the Centre should pay heed to the court’s remarks and stop wasting resources to “harass political rivals on trumped-up charges”.
The Supreme Court had made the remark on Tuesday after the Chhattisgarh government alleged that the probe agency is “running amok” and is trying to implicate Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in a money laundering case linked to an alleged Rs 2,000-crore liquor scam in the state.
“ED is Enforcement Directorate. Not Elimination Department to do away with political opponents,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said.
“Modi government should pay heed to the Supreme Court’s remarks and stop wasting government resources to harass political rivals on trumped-up charges,” he said.
Ramesh’s attack on the government came a day after the Chhattisgarh government alleged before a bench of justices SK Kaul and A Amanullah that several state excise department officials have complained that the ED is threatening them and their family members with arrest and is “trying to implicate the CM (chief minister)”.
The officers, the state government claimed, have said they will not work in the department.
“The ED is running amok. They are threatening excise officers,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Chhattisgarh government, had told the bench.
“It is a shocking state of affairs. Now elections are coming and that is why it is happening,” he said.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, countered the allegations and said the agency is probing a scam in the state.
“Even a bonafide cause becomes suspect when you behave like this,” the bench observed, adding that, “don’t create an atmosphere of fear”.