Pinnacle Court says Laundering more heinous crime than murder

Share on:

The Top Court today said that it was a more serious and heinous crime than murder as it afffected the entire economy whose growth could be put on hold or derailed because of it.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar observed when it was pointed out that the procedure prescribed in the Act is against the Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Evidence Act.

Apex court is looking at the constitutional validity of various provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly being violative of basic principles of natural justice and criminal jurisprudence.

The court clearly stated that money laundering is not just confined to drug trading but also for terrorist activities and such crimes affects integrity and sovereignty of the country.

The petitioners submitted that the coercive powers provided under the Act, including the power of arrest under Section 19 without a warrant on a mere subjective satisfaction of the officer concerned, is in fact to facilitate obtaining of a confessional statement, failing which he may be prosecuted.

The petitioners have also challenged the validity of Section 45(1) of the Act for putting limitations for granting bail.

The Bench said that “The offence of money laundering damages the economy and the financial system of the country. It can put the economy on hold or can derail it. It is more serious than murder. That is why a special Act was framed”.

The court is hearing a batch of petitions, including those filed by Congress leader Karti Chidambaram and former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, the court said such crime affects the integrity and sovereignty of the country and that was the purpose for bringing the Act.