NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court order upholding the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) will provide for speedy trial of some high-profile money laundering accused, including Congress Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram, his father P Chidambaram, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, industrialist Shivinder Mohan Singh, among other politically sensitive people. Involves rapid investigation. ,
In many of these cases, the investigation and trial had almost come to a halt as the agency awaits the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision challenging several of its provisions, which deal with and enforce its powers of arrest, search and seizure. The copy was about sharing. Case Information Report (ECIR) with the accused.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court rejected all these arguments and validated the Enforcement Directorate’s constitutional powers under the PMLA for not providing a copy of the ECIR. Some of the accused had sought exemption from filing the affidavit, which was an important document during the process of investigation and recording the statement of the accused.
Prabir Purkayastha, founder of news portal NewsClick, facing charges of money laundering, had obtained a ‘no coercion’ order from the Delhi High Court after challenging the agency’s decision not to share his ECIR at par with a police FIR. Search and seizure and power to summon.
The top court observed that the director of the ED has the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, “search and inspection; to enforce the presence of any person and to examine him on oath, to produce With regard to forcing. of records, obtaining evidence on affidavits, issuing commissions for examination of witnesses and documents.”
The ED had filed several charge sheets against Karti Chidambaram and his father P Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum allocation and INX-Media cases. The alleged money trail set up by the agency is part of a prosecution complaint filed before the courts that had taken cognizance of the allegations and ordered trial.
ED sources said, however, appeals were filed by the accused in the high courts to stall the trial process, which is pending for more than two years in some cases.
“The supply of a copy of ECIR to the person concerned is not mandatory in every case, it is sufficient if the ED discloses the grounds of such arrest at the time of arrest. However, when the arrested person is produced before a special court, It is open for the court to peruse the relevant records submitted by the authorized representative of the ED, to answer the issue of the need for his continued custody in relation to the offense of money-laundering,” the SC said in its judgment.