17 opposition parties want the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling on the ED's authority.

  • Aug. 4, 2022, 12:43 p.m.

The Opposition on Wednesday expressed deep concern and apprehension about the long-term implications of the recent Supreme Court judgment upholding the Amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, and called for its review.

Seventeen opposition parties, including the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Trinamool Congress, as well as Independent Member of Rajya Sabha Kapil Sibal, said they were "very disappointed that the highest judicial authority, invited to give an independent verdict on the lack of checks and balances in the Act, had virtually reproduced the arguments given by the executive in support of the draconian Amendments". The parties said they hoped the "dangerous verdict would be short-lived and constitutional provisions would prevail soon."

In a signed statement, the Opposition placed on record their apprehensions on the "long-term implications" of the Supreme Court's judgment in the matter without examining whether some of the amendments to the PMLA could have been brought by way of the Finance Act". The Supreme Court on July 27 upheld the validity of several stringent provisions of the PMLA which gave the Enforcement Directorate wider powers of arrest and seizure and made it difficult for the accused to obtain bail. However, it left the question of the 2019 Amendment to the PMLA having been passed as a money bill to be decided by a larger bench of seven judges before which the question was already pending.

The Opposition parties said if tomorrow the Supreme Court "holds that the challenged Amendment through the Finance Act is bad in law then the entire exercise will become futile and it will amount to loss of judicial time". Noting that they hold the Supreme Court in the highest respect, the parties added, "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 the 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...," the parties said.

Vendetta politics

The Opposition's statement says, "These amendments strengthened the hands of a government indulging in political vendetta of the worst kind."

Congress calls it a siege.

  • The ED temporarily sealed the Young Indian office, housed in the National Herald building
  • Part of the PMLA probe, the move triggered a massive backlash, with Cong calling it a siege
  • Delhi cops barricaded AICC HQ, Sonia and Rahul’s houses, triggering speculation of ED raiding their residences

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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