Supreme Court Stays ED's Notice Requiring Amazon India's Employees To Produce Their Personal Laptops And Mobile Phones
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the directions issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) requiring employees of Amazon India to produce their personal electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones.
The e-commerce company and one of its employees named Abhijeet Muzumdar, filed the writ petition before the Apex Court seeking protection against the disclosure of sensitive and confidential digital data. The Enforcement Directorate has summoned complete email dumps and personal electronic devices of employees of Amazon Seller Services Private Limited, the Indian marketplace unit of e-commerce giant Amazon.
A bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice Abhay S Oka stayed the directions of the Enforcement Directorate for time being, while issuing notice in the plea, the Court ordered "In the meantime, there shall be stay of operation of the directions contained in emails dated November 21, 2022 issued to petitioner No.2 (Abhijeet Muzumdar) and Mr. Kandula Raghava Rao to the extent that they were directed to submit complete email dumps and produce their personal electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones and/or issue similar notices to other employees of petitioner No.1 (Amazon Seller Services Private Limited)."
Senior Advocates Arvind Datar and Sidharth Luthra represented the petitioners in the Supreme Court. "The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was summoning employees of the Amazon India to share confidential information stored on their laptops and phones in a FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Ac) violation case going back to 2014", told Advocate-on-Record Snehasish Mukherjee to Verdictum. Advocate Zoheb Hossain appeared for the ED.
The Supreme Court has tagged the present matter with a pending plea, inter alia, seeking guidelines for the seizure of personal electronic devices by investigating agencies, for further hearing in the backdrop of the existing laws that do not regulate the police's power to search or seize electronic devices.
Cause Title- Amazon Seller Services Private LTD. & Anr. v.The Directorate of Enforcement & Ors.