Relief to Pratap Sarnaik from SC on money laundering case

Supreme Court & Paratap Sarnaik

Mumbai : The ruling Shiv Sena got another opportunity to corner the BJP on Wednesday when the top court of the country granted relief to Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik, who is facing an inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Rs 175-crore money laundering case registered against Tops Group promoters.

Responding to a petition filed by Sarnaik, the Supreme Court has clearly instructed that the no coercive steps should be taken against the petitioners. Sarnaik, his son Vihang Sarnaik and brother in law Yogesh Chandegala had approached SC and filed a writ petition against the recent ED raids in their houses and establishments.

While filing the petition, Sarnaiks requested that they should be interrogated in presence of their lawyers and added that the interrogation session should be recorded on both video and audio mediums. The ED served five summons to Vihang Sarnaik to appear before agency while three summons were issued to Pratap Sarnaik to appear before the agency. The relief to the Sena MLA comes just a day before Sarnaik was asked to appear tomorrow before ED.

However, the ED officials said they have not received any communication from Sarnaik regarding the order from the top court yet and have no idea about the writ petition filed by Sarnaik. The order by SC clearly stated that no coercive steps should be taken against the three petitioners.

ED has arrested Amit Chandole, a close aide of Sarnaik and M Sashidharan, the former MD of Tops Grup in connection with the money laundering case.

Sarnaik’s residence and offices were also raided by Enforcement Directorate in connection with the case related to the Rs 175-crore misappropriation concerning Tops Group Security services. Sarnaik who claimed he was in Goa when the raids happened returned the same evening and quarantined himself for a week citing Covid-19 rules.