SC upholds ED’s powers under stringent PMLA
Recently the Supreme Court has upheld the amendments in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
This decision of the Supreme Court has come on the petitions challenging the amendments made in the PMLA in the year 2019.
Amendments to PMLA:
- Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been given wide powers to issue summons, make arrests and conduct raids
- The bail provisions have been made stringent, placing the onus of proving innocence on the accused.
Major observations made by the Supreme Court
- The Court has upheld the broad definition of money laundering. It covers every process and activity of disposal of income/property earned from crime. Thus, it is not only concerned with the ultimate action of money laundering.
- Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials are not police officers, so the statements recorded by them can serve as evidence in court. These statements cannot be challenged in court on the grounds of being self-incriminatory.
- The Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) cannot be compared with the FIR, as it is an internal document of the ED.
- A direction cannot be issued to share it with the accused.
Prevention of Money Laundering Act: PMLA
- This act was passed in the year The law was enacted to implement India’s global commitment to global treaties/conventions to combat the menace of money laundering.
- These global treaties also include the Vienna Convention. These money laundering are related to the trade of drugs and narcotics and 5 related organized crime.
- The Enforcement Directorate is a financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue. It implements PMLA.
Source – The Hindu