Updated April 2nd, 2024 at 20:16 IST

Kejriwal Arrested: What Is PMLA And Why Bail in Money Laundering Case Is Tough | Explained

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
Kejriwal Arrested: What Is PMLA And Why Bail in Money Laundering Case Is Tough | Explained | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, in connection with a money laundering case related to Delhi excise policy case or liquor scam. 

Kejriwal's arrest came hours after the Delhi High Court refused to provide any interim protection from ED arrest to the AAP chief in connection with the summonses issued to him in the liquor policy scam case, which he all skipped.

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But why it's difficult to get bail in Money Laundering case?   

As per the provisions of the Money Laundering Act, 2002, it is very difficult to get bail. The law, enacted in 2002, came into force on July 1, 2005, aiming to prevent money laundering crimes in India. Amendments brought to the law in 2012, brought banks, mutual funds, and insurance companies under its purview.

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The stringent provisions of PMLA makes it difficult for the accused to seek bail. Section 45 of the PMLA sets two strict conditions for bail, making it challenging for accused individuals to secure their release. 

All offenses under the PMLA are cognizable and non-bailable, with no provision for anticipatory bail. It means, in Kejriwal's case, he will have to prove in court that charges made against him by the ED are baseless, which can be a challenging task for his legal counsel. 

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For example, two former ministers of the Delhi government, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, are currently in jail under the PMLA. Another AAP leader, Sanjay Singh, was also arrested under the PMLA and is currently in jail. The stringent conditions for bail under the PMLA have been a subject of debate and scrutiny.

The NDA government added two strict provisions for bail under Section 45 of the PMLA. These conditions require the court to believe that the accused is not guilty and that there is no apprehension of the accused committing an offense during bail. 

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The Supreme Court also noted the 2018 amendment made to the PMLA, stating that money laundering is a heinous crime that affects the nation's social and economic fabric. 

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Published March 23rd, 2024 at 10:28 IST