July 02, 2019

Supreme Court Issues Notice to Centre, Seeks Its Position About Congress MP’s Plea Challenging Money Laundering Law

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Supreme Court has issued notice to the central government and sought its response to a petition filed by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh challenging amendments made to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), through money bills since 2015.

The petition has contended that such amendments effected by way of money bills were in violation of the Constitution.

Earlier in February, the Delhi high court had dismissed Jairam Ramesh’s plea raised before it, saying that he had failed to justify the delay in the filing his petition.

However, he had claimed that there was a delay in filing his petition since he had learnt about the amendments made in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) only recently.

He had also contended before the Delhi high court that before the present government at the centre such amendments to PMLA were always part of an ordinary or regular bill and not a money bill.

He had stated that that a money bill is can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha, which is a piece of legislation the Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject. The Rajya Sabha can only make recommendations which may or may not be accepted by the Lok Sabha, he had stated.

He had told the Delhi High Court that such amendments made to PMLA were “unconstitutional” as well as “illegal” since they are unrelated to money bill provisions enumerated in Article 110 of the Constitution of India.

He had stated that passing the impugned amendments by way of a money bill is “grossly illegal” and is “expressly ultra vires the Constitution of India”.

His petition had stated that such action bypasses the authority of the Rajya Sabha and is a “desecration of bicameralism” which forms an invaluable part of the basic structure of the Constitution.

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