TDP MP Y S Chowdary was not offered food or permitted to take his lunch by the officials of the Enforcement Directorate during his questioning for nearly eight hours on two consecutive days, the Delhi High Court was told on Wednesday.
Chowdary's counsel claimed before Justice Najmi Waziri that there was gross violation of his human rights and breach of order of the court which had earlier directed that no coercive steps be against him. He said the MP was treated with indignity.
When the court asked senior advocates Rajiv Nayar and Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Chowdary, whether any food or refreshment was offered to him during the day long questioning by the ED, the counsel said "no" and added that even after the questioning got over at 6 PM, his way was blocked by the agency's officials till 8 PM.
"If that is so, it is breach of human rights and dignity and also constitutional rights. We will look into it," the judge observed.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Chowdary's counsel said he would file an affidavit in this regard and the court asked the ED to respond to it.
The court was hearing Chowdary's plea seeking quashing of the November 27 summons issued to him on the ground that it was "bad in law" as he was not named in the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the FIR or the chargesheet.
The court also extended the interim relief earlier granted to him, asking the agency not to take any coercive steps against Chowdary pursuant to the summons issued to him to appear before it in connection with a money laundering case.
After getting the interim protection on November 30, Chowdary had joined the questioning session by ED on December 3, 4 and 5.
His counsel said the questioning began at 11:30 AM and concluded at 6 PM and on the first day he went for lunch in the company of two ED officers and on the next two days he was not allowed to have food.
The court had earlier sought the response of the Ministry of Finance and the ED on Chowdary's plea.
He has also claimed in his petition that he was not connected with the offences mentioned in the ECIR in question, which was registered on the basis of a cheating and forgery case lodged in February 2016 against a Chennai-based company -- Best and Crompton Engineering Projects Ltd -- and its directors.
The FIR against the company and its directors was lodged on the basis of a complaint received from the Central Bank of India.
According to the petition, even though the TDP MP was not named as an accused in the charge sheet, FIR or ECIR, the ED had searched the premises of the Sujana Group, headed by him, on October 8 without a warrant.
Thereafter, on November 24, the central probe agency had raided his official residence and offices in New Delhi and Telangana and his statement was also recorded and on November 27, the summons was issued to him, the plea said.
It also said Chowdary had replied to the summons and sought an adjournment of two weeks, after which, on the same day (November 27), the ED had issued fresh summons, asking him to appear before it on December 4.
Chowdary has claimed in his plea that the ED, "with ill will and malice conducted illegal raids and searches on the premises of his employees" after the TDP "withdrew its support and alliance from the ruling party" at the Centre.
(With inputs from agencies.)