Underlining that “the principle of innocence of the accused/offender is regarded as a human right” however “that presumption can be interdicted by a law made by the Parliament/Legislature”, the Supreme Court final week upheld the provisions regarding the Enforcement Directorate’s powers of arrest, attachment, search, and seizure.
The Centre had advised the Court that “it cannot be said that presumption of innocence is a constitutional guarantee”.
In a joint assertion, the Opposition leaders stated the judgment will strengthen the palms of a authorities that “indulges in political vendetta” to focus on its opponents and expressed hope that this “dangerous verdict will be short-lived”.
“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,” they stated within the assertion.
Stating that they maintain and can at all times maintain the Supreme Court within the highest respect, the events, nevertheless, famous that they “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.”
17 Opposition events, together with TMC & AAP, plus one impartial Rajya Sabha MP, have signed a joint assertion expressing deep apprehensions on long-term implications of the current Supreme Court judgement upholding amendments to PMLA,2002 and referred to as for its assessment. The assertion: pic.twitter.com/vmhtxRHAnl
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) August 3, 2022
They additional stated that they “were also very disappointed that the highest judicial authority, invited to give an independent verdict on the lack of checks and balances in the Act, has virtually reproduced arguments given by the executive in support of draconian amendments”, and added that they hope that the damaging verdict shall be quick lived and constitutional provisions will prevail quickly.
Among the events which have signed the joint assertion are the Congress, the TMC, DMK, AAP, NCP, Shiv Sena, CPI-M, CPI, IUML, RSP, MDMK, RJD and RLD.
Earlier, the Congress had stated the Supreme Court’s resolution to uphold the constitutional validity of some provisions of the cash laundering regulation can have far-reaching implications for India’s democracy, particularly when governments are anchored in “political vendetta”.
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(With PTI inputs)