Khadse's plea to quash summons not maintainable: ED to HC

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Mumbai, Jan 25 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate told Bombay High Court on Monday a plea filed by Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse to quash summons issued in an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered in October last year was 'not maintainable'.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who appeared for the ED, told a bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale that an ECIR was not like an FIR but it was an internal document.

'Mere registration of ECIR does not make a person an accused. The ED only issued summons to him for questioning.

Therefore, there was no question of quashing the ECIR,' Singh said.

'One cannot come to court asking that summons already issued against one be quashed, and prevent the agency from issuing any summons in the future too,' ASG Singh said.

Khadse's plea, therefore, was not maintainable, the ASG said.

He also cited some previous judgements of the Supreme court to state that 'those holding public offices had a higher moral obligation to uphold decorum of their post' and, therefore, Khadse did not deserve any relief from HC.

Khadse had approached HC last week seeking that the summons against him be quashed, and also sought interim protection from coercive action pending hearing of his plea.

The summons and ECIR pertain to a case ED had lodged in 2016 on a land deal in Pune's Bhosari area.

Senior advocate Abad Ponda, appearing for Khadse, however, argued on Monday that his client was entitled to seeking every relief from HC, including quashing of summons.

He said Pune police had filed a closure report in 2017 stating it had not found any evidence against Khadse.

A special court in Pune, however, is yet to take cognizance of the closure report.

The HC adjourned further hearing in the case to January 28, and extended, till the next date, the interim protection from any coercive action granted to Khadse last week. PTI AYA BNM BNM