03 October Monday

Supreme Court upholds validity of various PMLA provisions

Web Desk‌Updated: Wednesday Jul 27, 2022

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Enforcement Directorate’s power to inquire, arrest and attach property under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA) and said it is not mandatory to give an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in every case to the person concerned.

It is enough if the Enforcement Directorate (ED) discloses grounds at the time of arrest, said a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar. The top court delivered its verdict on a batch of petitions concerning the interpretation of certain provisions of the PMLA. Anil Deshmukh, Karti Chidambaram, and Mehbooba Mufti were among the high-profile petitioners.

A batch of petitions filed by several persons facing ED proceedings under PMLA, including Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, had alleged that the law is violative of constitutional guarantee of right to liberty and right against self-incrimination under Articles 20 and 21. They have also questioned the alleged unbridled power given to ED and widening of the law to convert any offence into a money-laundering offence.

The court upheld the constitutionality of the provisions of Sections 5, 8(4), 15, 17 and 19 of the PMLA, which relate to the powers of ED's power of arrest, attachment, search and seizure.