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Mon. Aug 8th, 2022
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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday will pronounce its judgment on a batch of petitions raising issues concerning the interpretation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, as well as the powers and jurisdiction of the Enforcement directorate.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has contended before a bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar, that the PMLA is a part of the global response of the world community, and is in tune with the international standards as per the obligation of India.
He added that the court should give a little leverage to the legislature while interpreting the provisions of the Act.
“The PMLA is not a conventional penal statute but is a statute which is aimed at necessarily preventing money laundering, regulating certain activities relatable to money laundering, confiscating the proceeds of crime and the property derived therefrom, and it also requires offenders to be punished by the competent court after filing of a complaint,” said Mehta.
Explaining the need for PMLA, Mehta had said: “Money-laundering poses a serious threat not only to the financial systems of countries but also to their integrity and sovereignty. To obviate such threats international community has taken some initiatives. It has been felt that to prevent money-laundering and connected activities comprehensive legislation is urgently needed.”
Over 3,000 raids in 8 years
Raids carried out by the Enforcement Directorate during 2014-2022 saw a nearly 27-fold increase to 3,010 as compared to 112 searches between 2004 and 2014, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that the increased number of searches were conducted “in order to dispose of pending investigation in old cases and to complete investigation in new cases in a time- bound manner under the PMLA” and that complex investigations in cases, which have multiple accused, require multiple searches leading to increase in the numbers of such actions.
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was enacted in 2002, but implemented from July 1, 2005.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power between 2004 and 2014 while the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came into power from the middle of 2014.
(With inputs from agencies)

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