Delhi ( New Delhi)

SC allows PMLA verdict review; flags burden of proof, sharing info

Outlining its support for a law against money laundering, the Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to reconsider its decision upholding key provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2005. And for reconsideration, the issues that have been criticized have been flagged as potential violations of due process: overturning the presumption of innocence and disclosing information.

“After hearing the learned Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioner and the learned Solicitor General appearing for the Respondent, prima facie, we are of the view that there is an urgent need to consider at least two issues raised in the petition,” it said. Told. Order of a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. “At least two” suggests that the court order cannot limit the review to just these two grounds.

We are in full support of black money prevention. The intention is noble and the country cannot tolerate such crimes. But when you read the verdict, we feel that there are two aspects which need to be reconsidered.

On July 27, a three-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar (who has since retired), Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar ruled over 240 petitions challenging the Special Act against Money Laundering.

That bench had accepted the government’s arguments on almost every aspect challenged by the petitioners: from overturning the presumption of innocence while granting bail; retrospective operation of the law; Passing amendments in the form of Money Bills under the Finance Act and defining the framework of powers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Importantly, apart from CJI Ramana – who retired on Friday – the bench allowing the review on Thursday included Justices Maheshwari and Ravikumar, who were part of the bench that delivered the verdict.

The bench said that “prima facie it may be considered” to underscore that the ED is not obliged to share a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report with the accused and uphold the stringent bail provisions which guarantee innocence. reverse the notion. An accused needs to be seen again.

“My brother doesn’t agree. Hence we are restricting the review to these two grounds,” observed CJI Ramana when the petitioners cited other grounds for review. “After reading the judgment, there are two aspects prima facie … which ECIR is not providing and requires reversal of the burden of proof and presumption of innocence.”

Several petitioners, including Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, had sought a review of the verdict. On 24 August, making a rare exception, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the review in open court.

Except in cases of capital punishment, review petitions are heard by judges through “circulation” in their chambers, not in open court. Lawyers present their cases through written arguments and not through oral arguments.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, opposed the review and argued that questions on the legal validity of the PMLA could have international implications for India.

“It is not a standalone act. This is part of India’s international commitments. The review should be based on an apparent error on the face of the record. This cannot be another round of appeals or litigation,” Mehta said.

The July verdict upheld the ED’s vast powers to arrest individuals, conduct searches, and seize and attach properties. It also upheld the stringent provisions on bail that impose a twin condition: reverse burden of proof on the accused and the need to satisfy the court of prima facie that the accused is not guilty and is unlikely to commit a similar offence upon release.

The bench had also said that the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) cannot be compared with an FIR. It said that the supply of ECIR in every case to the person concerned is not mandatory and “it is sufficient if the ED discloses the grounds of such arrest at the time of arrest”.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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