Breaking: Supreme Court Issues Notice In Review Against PMLA Judgment On Two Issues
The Supreme Court today issued notice on two issues in the review petition seeking review of the PMLA Judgment.
The Bench comprising of Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice C. T. Ravikumar said "we feel that only two aspects that need to be relooked into. In principle, we are completely in support of prevention of circulation of black money. The Country can't afford such kinds so offences. The object is noble, the procedural aspects we are apprehensive about. The two areas are, non providing of ECIR and the reversal of the presumption of innocence", after hearing Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, "We are not before the Appellate Court. Error alone is not sufficient. We are part of a larger international regime", and that there will be international repercussions.
The Court said that it is limiting the review to the said two issues mentioned by it, on the plea by the Solicitor General. When this was opposed by Kapil Sibal, the Court said that we feel these are the two prima facie issues.
A Bench led by Chief Justice Ramana yesterday agreed to hear the review of the July 27 judgment in the open court after allowing an application filed seeking an oral hearing in the matter. The judgment of July 27 was passed in a batch of over 200 petitions challenging various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The judgment authored by retired Justice A. M. Khanwilkar upheld the validity of various provisions of the PMLA. The judgment upheld the validity of Sections 3 (definition of money laundering), 5 (attachment of property), 8(4) (taking possession of attached property), 17 (search and seizure), 18 (search of person), 19 (power of arrest), 24 (reverse burden of proof), 44 (offences triable by special court), 45 (offences being cognizable and non-bailable and twin conditions for grant of bail) and 50 (Statements given to ED Officials) of the Act.
The judgment also held that under PMLA proceeding, the ECIR is not necessary to be supplied to the accused and that it cannot be equated with the FIR as ECIR is an internal document of the Enforcement Directorate.
Interestingly, a Bench led by the Chief Justice had in a judgment passed on Tuesday observed that, "The court distinguished the earlier cases in view of the unique scheme under the impugned legislation therein. Having perused the said judgment, we are of the opinion that the aforesaid ratio requires further expounding in an appropriate case, without which, much scope is left for arbitrary application".