Presenting hard evidence of third degree torture tactics used by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Shri Sanjay Singh, launched a mega-exposé on the ED and branded it to be the “Enforcing Dictatorship” agency of Modi government. He vehemently criticised the agency’s use of brutal and inhumane tactics against witnesses in the Delhi Excise Policy case. He revealed how six such witnesses have approached the courts with accusations of being subjected to third-degree torture and threats against their loved ones in order to coerce them into signing false statements tailored to the ED’s biased * politically influenced agenda.
Shri Sanjay Singh drew a chilling parallel between the ED’s use of coercion to extract forced statements and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s “gas chambers”. Demanding an immediate end to the ED’s unlawful and violent tactics, he called for a comprehensive investigation into the allegations of political interference by the BJP.
Shri Sanjay Singh shared the accounts of individuals who have filed court petitions alleging coercion by the ED to give false statements in the Delhi Excise Policy case, including Chandan Reddy, Arun Pillai, Sameer Mahandru, Bhushan Belagavi, Manaswini Prabhune, and Raghav Reddy. He specifically mentioned cases where wives, daughters, and elderly parents of individuals were threatened and harassed to extract false information against political leaders.
Shri Sanjay Singh said that these revelations raise serious concerns about the ED’s investigation tactics. Shri Sanjay Singh shared Chandan Reddy’s petition to the High Court, accusing the ED of beating him so much that both his eardrums burst, threatening his family, and coercing him to sign a statement. In his petition, Chandan Reddy claims that the ED threatened him to write what they wanted or his family would be harmed beyond recognition. His medical examination report confirms his physical abuse, including torn eardrums that have left him deaf.
Chandan Reddy also alleges that when his eardrums were blown out through physical assault in the ED office, he was also physically assaulted by people in the ED office who were not ED officials. Citing the petition by Chandan Reddy, Shri Sanjay Singh expressed serious concern over the modus operandi of the ED and questioned who was behind the agency’s actions. He also questioned the identity of non-ED personnel who have reportedly been involved in manhandling individuals during ED interrogations and called for transparency in the agency’s operations.
Shri Sanjay Singh asked, “Which political party do these goons in the ED office belong to? They beat up individuals in the ED office, and the ED forcibly takes statements from the victims. This information must be made public.”
As disclosed in a written statement to the court, Arun Pillai claimed the ED forced him to give a false statement in the case by resorting to threats of harming his daughter, wife, and family. Sameer Mahandru also wrote to the court, alleging that his wife was called and threatened, and they were also coerced by the ED into making a false statement.
As per their accounts, Bhushan Belagavi and Manaswini Prabhune were also forced by the ED to make false statements and requested protection from the court. Raghav Reddy also stated to the court that he was pressured to take the names of political leaders.
He further exposed how the ED mocks the rule of law, where they just call case witnesses repeatedly to turn up without notice and interrogate them for hours. As per Shri Sanjay Singh, the ED has been repeatedly summoning Shri Manish Sisodia’s PS Davendar Sharma for long interrogations without proper documentation and transparency, contrary to the rule of law, which requires prior notices and on-camera interrogations.
Addressing PM Narendra Modi, Shri Sanjay Singh asked, “Is this how you conduct investigations, using thuggish tactics, threats, and intimidation, even resorting to physical violence and tearing the eardrums of innocent people, and threatening them about the safety of their daughters? You have championed the slogan ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter). When people are threatened in the name of their daughters, they can be driven even to the brink of suicide. It is a small matter for someone to sign a false statement under duress. If you want to fight, then you must have the courage to face it. Don’t hide like cowards behind threats to our daughter, wife, and family.”
Shri Sanjay Singh has also recently raised concerns about the actions of the ED in the Parliament, but he was served a notice of breach of privileges for his remarks in his Zero Hour mention on December 12, 2022, that the present central government had used the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to carry out 3,000 raids on its political opponents, whereas there have been convictions in merely 23 cases, investigated by the ED during this period. (conviction rate of only 0.5%).
He said, “However, I see this as an opportunity to bring these matters up in Parliament again and hold ED officials accountable for their inhumane actions. The notice of breach of privilege gives me a chance to bring this matter before the Privileges Committee of the Parliament of India. I intend to present the facts and call for an assessment of the ED’s conduct, against which petitions have been filed by citizens in the courts as well.”
Shri Sanjay Singh also wrote a letter to the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha on March 30, 2023, strongly refuting the allegations that he made a misleading statement during his Zero Hour mention. Expressing his initial disbelief at the accusations, he argued that his statement in parliament was based on facts and went on to back his statement with documentary evidence.
He had cited the Ministry of Finance’s response to Unstarred Questions 1026 and 1005 by two RS MPs, Shri Digvijaya Singh and Smt. Priyanka Chaturvedi, respectively, stated that over the past five years, 3,066 cases had been recorded under PMLA 2002, and 2,564 and 591 searches had been conducted under the provisions of PMLA 2002 and FEMA 1991, respectively. Shri Sanjay Singh also mentioned that Smt. Priyanka Chaturvedi supported his statement in a tweet. He expressed disappointment with the false allegations and urged both Shri Digvijaya Singh and Smt. Priyanka Chaturvedi to provide their statements to clarify the matter.
He had further argued in his letter that he was permitted by the RS Chair to continue with his submissions despite attempts by the Treasury benches to disrupt him. He also accused BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Shri GVL Narasimha Rao of deliberately filing a vague and frivolous complaint against an opposition member to intimidate him and muzzle his voice, which Shri Sanjay argued, amounted to contempt of the House and defeated its very purpose.
In his letter, Shri Sanjay Singh further stated that the onus lies with Rao to provide evidence to prove his contention. He invited Rao to provide the names, addresses, and ED complaints against each of the 3,000 individuals/entities who have been raided by the Enforcement Directorate during the check period. Shri Sanjay Singh has also appealed for transparency, requesting that the proceedings be broadcast live when he is summoned to appear before the committee.
During the press conference on Wednesday, Shri Sanjay Singh added, “These court petitions and medical reports further provide undeniable evidence that supports the statements I made about the ED in the Parliament. Under political pressure, the ED creates false cases and defames select state governments. The so-called liquor scam is a prime example of baseless allegations. Those who have been coerced into giving false statements in the case have come forward in court and shared harrowing tales of torture and intimidation.”
Shri Sanjay Singh lambasted the ED’s tactics, questioned their integrity, and demanded accountability for their actions from the parliament. Emphasising the gravity of the allegations, he said, “How can ED torture innocent people to the extent of tearing their eardrums? How can they threaten people about the safety of their daughters? How is someone called to the ED’s office without any notice? How are there people other than ED officials in ED’s office who are torturing innocent individuals?
He further criticised the ED’s tactics, stating that “by interrogating at gunpoint in Hitler’s gas chamber, the ED is trying to create a false and baseless issue.” He further said that these court petitions show how the ED is forcibly extracting statements related to the excise policy case, and prove that the ED is creating a false case. The entire investigation by the ED in the case should be thrown in the dustbin. The ED is creating a false, baseless case to defame the Delhi government, Shri Arvind Kejriwal, and the Aam Aadmi Party.”