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Delhi High Court dismisses MP Jairam Ramesh's PIL against amendments in PMLA through Money Bills


ANI General News
Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a PIL filed by Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh challenging the amendments made to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 through Finance Acts or Money Bills since 2015.
Dismissing the PIL, a Bench led by chief justice Rajendra Menon and V Kameshwar Rao said, "We do not think that it is a case where this court should exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India."
Senior Advocate P Chidambaram, appearing on behalf of Ramesh, argued that the amendments to the PMLA were passed as 'ordinary bills' from 2005 till 2013. However, subsequently, PMLA was amended thrice using the Finance Act as a 'cloak'.
The Court observed, "There is no reason to challenge the amendments, at least of the years 2015 and 2016 in the year 2019. In any case, merely because the petitioner came to know recently that such amendments have been carried out as Money Bills, would not justify the delay."
"An extract of the 16th debates held in the Lok Sabha following the introduction of the Finance Bill 2015, makes clear that the illegality of introducing PML Act amendments did not go unnoticed by Opposition members. Rather, it was categorically stated that the inclusion of such amendments was tantamount to a violation of the Constitution. The government, however, did not extend any explanation in response to objections raised over the PML Act," the petition read.
Jairam Ramesh in the petition said the government's action of passing the impugned amendments by way of a Money Bill is grossly illegal and is expressly ultra-vires the Constitution of India.
The Centre objected strongly to the petition. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Acharya raised objections with respect to the locus of the petitioner.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 7:41 PM IST

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