As many as 14 opposition parties, led by the Congress, moved the Supreme Court on Friday alleging the arbitrary use of central probe agencies against political opponents. The Supreme Court has agreed to list the case for hearing on April 5.
A bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud took note of senior advocate AM Singhvi’s submissions. Singhvi will appear for several opposition parties such as the AAP, DMK, RJD, Bharat Rashtra Samiti and the Trinamool Congress. The SC bench confirmed that the plea would be heard on April 5.
Through the plea, several opposition parties are seeking guidelines for pre- and post-arrest that should be followed by central probe agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
“Ninety five per cent cases are against opposition leaders. We are asking for pre-arrest guidelines and post-arrest guidelines," Singhvi said. The counsel also clarified that they are not attempting to affect ongoing investigations.
The SC bench also comprising Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala responded and said, “We will list it on April 5."
Oppn Plea After Rahul Gandhi’s Conviction
The plea by a united opposition comes a day after a court at Surat in Gujarat on Thursday sentenced Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail in the 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him over his “why all thieves have a Modi surname" remark.
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate H H Varma, which held Gandhi guilty under Indian Penal Code sections 499 and 500 (dealing with defamation), also granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court.
United Attack Over ‘Misusing Central Agencies’
Several opposition leaders including Aam Aadmi Party convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal slammed the BJP government over ‘misusing central agencies’ soon after a two-year jail term was announced for Rahul Gandhi.
The AAP has maintained that agencies such as the CBI and ED have been ‘misused’ by the BJP government to target opposition leaders. This also comes against the backdrop of the arrest of two of the party’s leaders – Former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Former Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
Even parties like the Trinamool Congress have rallied behind this claim. Earlier this month, the West Bengal assembly passed a motion against the “misuse of central agencies" for targeting the Trinamool Congress.
Several Trinamool leaders and ministers have been arrested by Central agencies recently for their alleged involvement in scams and corruption cases.
(With Inputs from Agencies)
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