Supreme Court grants bail to Enforcement Directorate officer Ankit Tiwari in PMLA case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to Enforcement Directorate officer Ankit Tiwari, who was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) last year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan granted interim bail to the ED officer, while imposing stringent conditions on him.

Tiwari was directed to furnish bail bonds to the concerned trial court and adhere to specific directives laid down by it, along with the conditions imposed by the Apex Court.

He was prohibited from directly or indirectly contacting or influencing any witnesses related to the case. The ED sleuth was further barred from tampering with any evidence in any manner.

The ED officer was directed not to leave the State of Tamil Nadu without prior permission from the court. He was directed to deposit his passport with the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The Apex Court passed the order on a special leave petition filed by Tiwari against the December 20 order of the Madras High Court, which refused to grant him regular bail.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to Enforcement Directorate officer Ankit Tiwari, who was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) last year in a bribe case.

The Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan granted interim bail to the ED officer, while imposing stringent conditions on him.

Tiwari was directed to furnish bail bonds to the concerned trial court and adhere to specific directives laid down by it, along with the conditions imposed by the Apex Court.

He was prohibited from directly or indirectly contacting or influencing any witnesses related to the case. The ED sleuth was further barred from tampering with any evidence in any manner.

Tiwari was directed not to leave the State of Tamil Nadu without prior permission from the court. He was directed to deposit his passport with the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The Apex Court passed the order on a special leave petition filed by Tiwari against the December 20 order of the Madras High Court, which refused to grant him regular bail.

The High Court had last week observed, while rejecting Tiwari’s second bail application, that there was no clarity as to whether a High Court could proceed to decide the revision petition on merits.

The ED officer had filed an application in the pending case as well as a separate special leave petition before the Apex Court.

In a related development, the same Bench adjourned till April 18, hearing on a separate plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate seeking the transfer of the probe into bribery allegations against Tiwari from the Tamil Nadu DVAC to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The central agency claimed in its petition under Article 32 of the Constitution that the Tamil Nadu police has deliberately hindered its access to first information reports (FIR) and essential materials necessary for fulfilling its obligations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Earlier during the proceedings, the Apex Court had mulled over the idea of framing pan-India guidelines to ensure that the investigation of cases involving the Enforcement Directorate and the state government officials took place fairly and transparently, cautioning against ‘vindictive arrests’ and ‘mala fide witchhunts’.

Appearing for the State, Tamil Nadu Additional Advocate General Amit Anand Tiwari and Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal today informed the Apex Court that they had no objection to it granting bail to the arrested ED officer.

The petitioner was represented by Advocate Shivam Singh.

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