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‘Dangerous Judgment’: Oppn on SC nod to anti-money laundering law

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Delhi: At least 17 opposition parties have termed as “alarming” the recent Supreme Court decision upholding amendments made in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2019, allowing agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to got more rights.

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“We expect the dangerous decision to be short-lived and the constitutional provisions will come into force soon,” said the statement, signed by representatives of Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI(M), Samajwadi Party and RJD, among others.

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On July 27, The Supreme Court upheld the validity of a wide range of powers granted to the ED under the amended law, which was challenged by around 250 petitions. The court rejected key arguments that the broad definition of “proceeds of crime” and the powers of arrest could be abused. “We take on record our deepest apprehensions over the long-term implications of the recent Supreme Court judgment upholding the amendments to PMLA, 2002 in its entirety, without examining whether some of these amendments may be enacted through the Finance Act. Could or could not,” the statement, read on August 2.

According to the report, In recent days, Some opposition parties have already said – alleging political vendetta by misuse of the law – that they will again go to the Supreme Court for review. They also say that there is very little punishment given under the law. A number of opposition leaders, including Congress’s Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, and TMC’s Partha Chatterjee, have been questioned or arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in various cases; Chatterjee, however, was suspended by his party and relieved of all his ministerial duties in the West Bengal cabinet.

Representatives of Congress, Shiv Sena and TMC are among those who signed the letter.The protests took place during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament due to the alleged misuse of investigative agencies by the Center to target opposition leaders.

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