November 23, 2017:
Section 45 of the Act which was the stringent bail provision is declared as arbitrary and unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court held the stringent bail provision under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as arbitrary and unconstitutional, on Thursday.
Apex Court has struck down Section 45 of the Act, paving the way for accused to get out on bail as per the provision applicable to other offences.
A bench comprising of Justices R F Nariman and Sanjay Kishan Kaul ruled that the drastic provision which imposes two conditions for grant of bail.
As per Law the Public Prosecutor must be given an opportunity to oppose bail plea and the court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. They were found violative of constitutional provisions by providing a procedure which was not fair or just.
The bench ruled that the twin conditions set down in Section 45 were a much higher threshold bar than any of the conditions laid down by the apex court in its earlier verdicts.
Bench said that considering that persons are languishing in jail and that personal liberty is involved, all these matters are to be taken up at the earliest by the respective courts for fresh decision.
The Apex court said that Section 45 led to an extremely anomalous situation as a person could easily get pre-arrest bail in money laundering cases but it became extremely difficult to get bail after being arrested.
Such stringent provision could be justified in heinous offences punishable by death or life imprisonment but such tough condition was not justified in money laundering cases.
Source - ptinews.com