The Delhi High Court Monday sought response of the Centre on a plea challenging provisions of eight statutes, including the money laundering and banking regulation laws, which do not allow the victims of offences under these laws to initiate prosecution against the offenders.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the ministries of Law and Justice, Finance and Corporate Affairs seeking their stand on the petition by an NGO which has contended that offences under the eight laws are only prosecutable by designated agencies, like the Enforcement Directorate for money laundering matters.
According to the petition, the eight legislations under which only a designated agency can initiate prosecution for an offence are -- the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Banking Regulation Act, Insurance Act, National Housing Bank Act, the Payments and Settlement Systems Act, Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act.
The petition by 'India Awake for Transparency' has contended that offences under these statutes "have public victims", but they are "stripped" of their rights for justice and "left at the mercy of the designated agency".
It has contended that there was a similar bar under the UIDAI Act (Aadhaar) but it was struck down by the Supreme Court.
The NGO has urged the high court to strike down the provisions, in each of the eight laws, which bar victims from initiating prosecution be declared as arbitrary, unreasonable and ultra vires the Constitution.
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