The stringent legislation towards cash laundering, which acquired a thumbs up from the Supreme Court docket just lately, might be up for assessment once more, with the highest court docket agreeing to listen to a petition that has challenged the judgment. The listening to might be held tomorrow.
In a judgment final month, the court docket had upheld the Enforcement Directorate’s in depth powers to look, seize and arrest, which had been challenged in a number of petitions. The petitioners had argued that these powers had been largely misused, particularly in instances the place opposition leaders are concerned.
The 250-odd petitioners had additionally argued that handing an company unchecked powers of arrest the place the accused will not be knowledgeable about purpose or proof, is unconstitutional. In addition they contended that the usage of statements in court docket recorded throughout questioning shouldn’t be allowed, since such statements can be extracted underneath duress.
The court docket held that the Enforcement Directorate is “not required to share the ECIR (Enforcement Case Info Report) copy” with the accused. This doc, the court docket stated, can’t be equated with an FIR (First Info Report).
“It’s sufficient if Enforcement Directorate, at time of arrest, discloses grounds of such arrest,” the judges had stated.
Declaring that the ED’s energy of arrest isn’t arbitrary, the court docket stated cash laundering not solely impacts the nation’s social and financial material but additionally tends to advertise different heinous crimes together with terrorism.
The highest court docket’s judgment was challenged by Congress’s Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, who has sought a keep on it. The ED is investigating an alleged cash laundering case by which he has been named.
A beneficial verdict was more likely to have an effect on an enormous variety of opposition leaders – together with Congress’s Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and Trinamool Congress’s Partha Chatterjee — who’re underneath the scanner of the Central investigating company.
With many opposition leaders underneath the ED scanner over the anti-money laundering legal guidelines, the opposition has repeatedly accused the Centre of misusing Central companies to satisfy a political vendetta.