SC upholds powers of ED, says money laundering arrests ‘not arbitrary’


The Supreme Court on Wednesday backed the Enforcement Directorate’s powers under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, saying Section 19 that deals with the power to arrest does not suffer from the “vice of arbitrariness”.

Upholding the validity of some provisions of the PMLA, a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar also said Section 5 of the Act relating to the attachment of property of those involved in money laundering is constitutionally valid.

The apex court said the supply of Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in every case to the person concerned is not mandatory. The ECIR is the ED’s equivalent of a police FIR. The bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar, said it is enough if the ED discloses grounds at the time of arrest.

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