The Supreme Court during hearing of a money laundering case was told that Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been given "drastic powers" which need to be reined in.
A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh was hearing a batch of pleas relating to Gurugram-based realty group M3M under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Reportedly, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing on behalf of directors of realty group M3M, said, "These are drastic powers given to the ED. If the court does not rein them in, no one is safe in this country. See how the arrest was done. They were cooperating. The arrest was in violation of my rights... These powers need to be reined in."
Salve was representing M3M directors, Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal, who were arrested in a money laundering probe related to a bribery case against a former judge.
The bench in its order noted that the Bansal brothers would now be approaching the Punjab and Haryana High Court for anticipatory bail and disposed of their pleas.
The top court was hearing a batch of pleas, including challenges to a recent Delhi High Court order that had refused to interfere with the arrest of M3M directors, in the money laundering probe related to a bribery case against a former judge.
The Bansal brothers were arrested by the ED on June 14 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). They were subsequently produced before a special PMLA court in Haryana's Panchkula, which sent them to five-day ED custody.
On June 9, the High Court granted interim protection from arrest till July 5 to Basant and Pankaj Bansal in the money laundering case linked to real estate firm IREO.
Bansals contended that such custody amounts to illegal detention and was an effort to avoid the High Court's orders granting them protection from coercive action in another money laundering case.
The money laundering case in which the Bansal brothers have been arrested pertains to a Haryana Police Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) FIR filed on April 17 against former special judge of CBI -- Sudhir Parmar -- who was posted in Panchkula, another director of M3M, Roop Kumar Bansal, and another person.