The statement was signed by representatives of Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI(M), Samajwadi Party, RJD and others.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court judgment upholding the amendments made to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2019 was termed “dangerous” by at least 17 Opposition parties. The amendments give more powers to agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A statement, signed by the representatives of Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI(M), Samajwadi Party, RJD and others read, “We hope that the dangerous verdict will be short-lived and constitutional provisions will prevail soon.”
On July 27, the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of a range of powers given to the ED under the amended laws that were challenged by close to 250 petitions. The court had rejected arguments that the powers to arrest and an ambiguous definition of “proceeds of crime” could be misused.
In a tweet, Jairam Ramesh said, “17 Opposition parties, including TMC & AAP, plus one independent Rajya Sabha MP, have signed a joint statement expressing deep apprehensions on long-term implications of the recent Supreme Court judgement upholding amendments to PMLA,2002 and called for its review.”
The statement read, “We place on record our deep apprehension on the long-term implications of the recent Supreme Court judgement upholding, in entirety, the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, without examining whether some of these amendments could have been enacted by way of Finance Act. If tomorrow the Supreme Court holds that the challenged amendments through Finance Act is bad in law, then the entire exercise will become futile and loss of judicial time.”
It added, “We hold, and will always hold, our Supreme Court in the highest respect. 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 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 related to money laundering and investigation agencies, to target its political opponents in a mischievous and malicious manner,” the statement further added.
“We are also very disappointed that the highest judicial authority…has virtually reproduced arguments given by the executive in support of draconian amendments.”