The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider review of its order upholding the Enforcement Directorate’s wide powers to arrest, attach property involved in money-laundering, and seizures under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“OK, we will list it,” a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said after the matter was mentioned before it.
The verdict had come from a three-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar (now retired), Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar on July 27 on a clutch of more than 200 petitions filed by individuals and entities questioning various provisions of the PMLA, a law which, as per the opposition’s frequent claims, has been weaponised by the Centre to harass political adversaries.
It was a common experience the world over that money laundering could be a “threat” to the functioning of a financial system, the court observed while upholding the validity of certain provisions of the PMLA. It underlined that money laundering was not an “ordinary offence”.
As per the ruling, the enforcement case information report (ECIR) could not be equated with an FIR under the Code of Criminal Procedure. Supplying an ECIR copy in every case to the person concerned was not mandatory and it was enough if the ED, at the time of arrest, disclosed the grounds of such an arrest, the court said.