Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea of 14 parties alleging misuse of CBI, ED

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea jointly filed by 14 parties, led by Congress, alleging arbitrary arrests of Opposition leaders by central probe agencies, and seeking fresh guidelines governing the arrest and remand. A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice J B Pardiwala said that “laying down general guidelines without having relation to facts of a case will be dangerous”. (Also Read | Don’t let attacks deter you, Modi advises CBI)

Representing the petitioners, Singhvi argued that mass arrests are a threat to democracy and a sign of authoritarianism. To this, Justice Chandrachud said, “When you say that space for opposition has shrunk, the remedy is in that space, the political space. Not the Court.”

Sensing the disinclination on the part of the top court in entertaining the plea, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the political parties, sought permission to withdraw the petition.

“Learned counsel seeks permission to withdraw the plea at this stage. The petition is accordingly dismissed as withdrawn,” the bench ordered.

The court urged the parties to come in an appropriate case or group of cases where a political leader is targeted.

“You please come back to us when you have an individual criminal case or group of cases,” the bench said.

The court also said guidelines cannot be sought only for politicians based on statistics showing the maximum number of cases by central probe agencies against opposition leaders as they do not enjoy any immunity from prosecution. The court further stated that political leaders stand on the same footing as common citizens.

Besides the Congress, the parties that were part of the joint move are the DMK, RJD, BRS, Trinamool Congress, AAP, NCP, Shiv Sena (UBT), JMM, JD(U), CPI(M), CPI, Samajwadi Party and the J-K National Conference.

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