'Wrong step': Owaisi on parties moving Supreme Court over ‘misuse’ of CBI, ED

By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav
Apr 05, 2023 05:37 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea by 14 political parties alleging arbitrary use of central probe agencies against opposition leaders.

All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday criticised the political parties for taking the issue of alleged misuse of central probe agencies to the Supreme Court and said the outcome has given the ruling BJP an opportunity to justify the action. Owaisi said that the opposition parties should have taken it to the masses and explained it to them how the Bharatiya Janata Party are “settling scores by using agencies”.

AIMIM chief and Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi.(PTI)
AIMIM chief and Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi.(PTI)

As many as 14 political parties, led by the Congress, had jointly filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging arbitrary use of central probe agencies against opposition leaders and sought a fresh set of guidelines governing their arrest and remand. The apex court refused to entertain the plea asserting that laying down guidelines without facts of a criminal case will be “dangerous”. (Also Read | Delhi judge rejects Manish Sisodia’s bail application in CBI case)

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When asked about his reaction on Supreme Court's refusal to entertain the plea, Owaisi said, “This was a wrong step. This is not a correct way of doing politics when we are facing a formidable opponent like BJP headed by Narendra Modi.”

"The opposition parties going to the Supreme Court was an unwise decision. Now, this has given BJP an opportunity to say that ‘whatever we are doing Supreme Court is supporting us’," the Lok Sabha member said.

“This should have been taken to the masses and explained that this is what BJP is doing, they are settling scores by using agencies. But a wrong decision was taken. If you take a wrong legal decision, the (court's) decision will come which will benefit, unfortunately, the ruling party only.”

A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice J B Pardiwala expressed disinclination to entertain the petition, saying courts are always there for taking up the grievances of political leaders as they do for common citizens.

“Political leaders do not enjoy an immunity higher than the common citizens...once we accept that political leaders are absolutely on same footing as common citizens with no higher immunity, then how can we say there can be no arrests unless there is a three-pronged test which is satisfied,” the bench said.

Sensing its disinclination, senior advocate A M Sighvi, appearing for the political parties, sought permission to withdraw the petition which was granted.

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

“You please come back to us when you have an individual criminal case or group of cases,” the bench said, adding “laying down general guidelines without having relation to facts of a case will be dangerous”.

After the court's decision, Union minister Anurag Thakur hit out at the opposition parties saying “they have been exposed."

"Congress is leading the corrupts. Investigative agencies have rights to take action against corrupts,” ANI quoted the minister as saying. “Instead of cooperating in probe, Congress makes excuses to try and keep cases pending in courts.”

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