Nearly 17 opposition parties in the country have termed as “dangerous” the Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the amendments made in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2019, which made agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) more vulnerable. Rights have been obtained.
The statement, signed by some other parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, CPIM, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal, said, “We are hopeful that this dangerous decision will be short-lived and constitutional provisions will come into force soon.”
Significantly, the Supreme Court in its judgment last week had upheld the validity of the comprehensive powers given to the ED under the amended law.
“If tomorrow the Supreme Court holds that the challenged amendments through Finance Act is bad in law,” read the Opposition statement, “then the entire exercise would become futile and loss of judicial time.”
In a joint statement, their leaders said the judgement will strengthen the hands of a government that “indulges in political vendetta” to target its opponents and expressed hope that this “dangerous verdict will be short-lived”.
“We place on record our deep apprehension on the long-term implications of the recent Supreme Court judgement upholding, in entirety, the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, without examining whether some of these amendments could have been enacted by way of Finance Act,” they said in the statement.
The parties said they hold and will always hold the Supreme Court in the highest respect.
“Yet, we are compelled to point out that the judgment should have awaited the verdict of a larger Bench for examining the constitutionality of the Finance Act route to carry out amendments.”
“These far-reaching amendments strengthened the hands of a government, indulging in political vendetta of the worst kind, by using these very amended laws relating to money laundering and investigation agencies, to target its political opponents in a mischievous and malicious manner,” the opposition parties alleged.
The opposition parties said, “We express our deep concern about the far-reaching implications of the recent Supreme Court order in which the Supreme Court upheld the amendments made in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 in its entirety and did not scrutinize it.” That some of these amendments were made through the Finance Bill.”
Significantly, on July 27, the Supreme Court had given its verdict on petitions challenging the process of arrest, seizure and investigation conducted by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and gave a green signal to the ED’s powers in PMLA cases. The Supreme Court had upheld the ED’s right to arrest under the PMLA. The court had said that the process of arrest is not arbitrary. SC had upheld the stringent provisions of PMLA on double conditions of proceeds of offence, search and seizure, power of arrest, attachment of properties and bail.
Also Read – Stock Market Update Today: Today’s Top Gainers