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‘Misuse’ of central probe agencies: Supreme Court to hear plea of opposition parties on April 5 | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the plea of a group of opposition parties on ‘misuse’ of central probe agencies.
14 political parties led by the Congress have alleged arbitrary use of Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation by the Union government in arresting opposition leaders.
A bench headed by CJI D Y Chandrachud has posted the case for hearing on April 5.
In their petition before the court, these parties have sought laying down of guidelines by the top court for law enforcing agencies and courts on arrest and remand.
Senior advocate AM Singhvi told the court that the parties are seeking laying down of guidelines for pre-arrest procedure to be followed by probe agencies and post-arrest procedure to be followed by prosecutors and courts.
He added that these parties garnered 42% of total votes and feel misuse of CBI and ED has put democracy, a basic structure of Constitution, in peril.
He also said that the petitioners have given pre-2014 and post-2014 statistics on misuse of the agencies to arrest political opponents.
Reversing its earlier decision that mere membership of a banned organisation is not an offence as long as one does not indulge in crimes, the court ruled if a person continues membership of an organisation, even after it is banned, he would be liable to be punished.
A 3-judge bench led by Justice M R Shah said, “if a member of an organisation continues his membership even after it is proscribed under law, then he runs risk of being punished.”
“It poses danger to the integrity and sovereignty of the country,” he added.
The court said the decision to continue membership of a banned organisation is bound to be held as an activity against integrity and sovereignty of the country.
Hailing the judgment as historic, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said it will go a long way in protecting the sovereignty of the country.

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