In a recent development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has called on Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, Shankar Jiwal, to address its previous complaint against officials from the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) and others, accused of unlawfully taking sensitive documents from the ED's sub-zonal office in Madurai.
As reported by The Hindu, the ED's complaint, dated 2 December 2023, sheds light on what it terms an "illegal search operation", involving criminal trespass, theft and unauthorised access to crucial records linked to ongoing investigations.
The ED had previously requested the DGP to register a first information report (FIR) against the accused, citing sections of the Indian Penal Code related to trespass, criminal intimidation, theft and assault.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the lack of action taken thus far, the ED, in its letter to the DGP, invoked the Supreme Court decision in the Lalita Kumari versus Government of Uttar Pradesh and others case.
The court had emphasised that if information disclosing a cognizable offense is presented to the police, they are duty-bound to register a case based on that information.
In this case, the ED argued that the submitted complaint indeed disclosed a cognizable offense, urging the DGP to direct the police station concerned to register an FIR against DVAC officials and the unauthorised individuals who allegedly stole/accessed sensitive and confidential records.
The controversy originated from the arrest of enforcement officer Ankit Tiwari on bribery charges.
DVAC officials had conducted a search on the ED's Madurai office in connection with these charges.
While DVAC officials insisted on proper authorisation, the ED disputes this, alleging that 35 unauthorised individuals entered its premises.
This ongoing conflict underscores the need for legal intervention to address the alleged theft of critical investigative documents and highlights the strained relationship between the two agencies.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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