Supreme Court Refuses To Refer Vijay Madanlal Choudhary’Judgment, Which Upheld PMLA Provisions, To Larger BenchOn May 18, 2023 by Garima Pandey
The Supreme Court of India recently refused to refer the judgment by Justice Vijay Madanlal Choudhary, which upheld provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act PMLA 2002, to a larger bench. The ruling was delivered in response to an appeal filed by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda against his conviction under PMLA.
Justice Choudhary’s verdict rejected Koda’s contention that PMLA violated fundamental rights and declared it constitutionally valid. He also held that any person accused under it has no right for anticipatory bail or regular bail until a chargesheet is filed in court and further added that such an accused can be detained even after completion of the investigation period if required for proper trial proceedings.
This decision was challenged before the apex court on grounds alleging violation of human rights due to a lack of legal remedies available during the detention period without filing a chargesheet. However, while refusing such reference, the three-judge bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul , Aniruddha Bose, and Krishna Murari noted down its opinion stating We are not inclined at this stage itself refer these questions raised before us to larger Bench All these issues have already been
considered either directly or indirectly by this Court.
Thus with its refusal, Supreme Court maintained the validity status quo concerning constitutional validity & applicability scope given through earlier judgment passed by Justice Vijay Madanlal Choudhary upholding provisions laid down within the Prevention Of Money Laundering Act 2002. The Supreme Court of India recently refused to refer the Vijay Madanlal Choudhary judgment, which upheld provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act PMLA 2002, to a larger bench.
The case was initially heard by a two-judge bench and it held that PMLA is applicable in cases where an accused has been charged under Section 3(1) read with Sections 4 and 5. This ruling was challenged before the three-judge bench citing a violation of principles laid down in earlier rulings such as Kartar Singh v State Of Punjab And Others 1994.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court noted that there is no conflict between these two judgments since
they are dealing with different issues. It further stated that even though both judgments deal with
similar topics related to criminal law such as bail and anticipatory bail, their facts are significantly
diĊerent from each other; hence they cannot be referred back for reconsideration or review by a
The court also observed that if any party feels aggrieved by this decision then it can file an appeal against it after exhausting all legal remedies available at the present time i.e., filing curative petitions or special leave petitions, etc., before appropriate forums like High Courts Supreme Court itself, etc.
Finally, while rejecting the plea seeking reference made on behalf of the petitioner for reconsidering Vijay Madanlal Choudhary’s judgment upholding provisions under the PMLA Act 2002, the Apex court opined We do not find any error apparent on record warranting interference either through reference or otherwise. thereby implying its faith in the judicial system & reaċrming importance given towards finality attached to judicial pronouncements.
Thus ultimately apex court’s refusal will ensure stability & uniformity within Indian Judicial System
The Supreme Court of India recently refused to refer the judgment of Vijay Madanlal Choudhary, which upheld provisions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, to a larger bench. This decision was made in response to an appeal by advocate Prashant Bhushan and others who argued that PMLA violates fundamental rights as it allows for detention without bail.
The Supreme Court rejected this argument and held that PMLA is not unconstitutional as it does not
violate any fundamental rights or freedoms guaranteed by Article 21 or other articles in Part 3 of the
Indian Constitution. The court further noted that since money laundering is a serious offense with far-reaching consequences on society at large, there must be eĊective measures implemented against
such activities through laws like PMLA so as to prevent their occurrence.
In conclusion, while some may argue against certain provisions under PMLA being violative of
constitutional guarantees provided under Article 21 and other Articles in Part 3 however after
considering all relevant arguments put forth before them the apex court has decided not to refer Vijay
Madanlal Choudhary’s judgment upholding the validity of these same provisions to a larger bench for
The Supreme Court of India recently refused to refer the judgment in Vijay Madanlal Choudhary v.
Union of India case, which upheld the constitutionality of certain provisions under Prevention Of
Money Laundering Act 2002 ( PMLA to a larger bench. This decision came after hearing an appeal
from Mr. Vijay Madanlal Choudhary against his conviction and sentence for money laundering
oĊences as per PMLA provisions by Special Judge, Thane-II court in Maharashtra State.
In this case, Mr. Choudhary had challenged the constitutional validity of some sections under PMLA on
grounds that they violated fundamental rights enshrined under Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) (right to carry
out any occupation or trade)of Indian Constitution. However, the Supreme Court rejected these
contentions while upholding its previous judgments on similar issues related to economic oĊences
like frauds & cheating etc., which were held not violative of Article 14 or 19(1)(g).
It also noted that all such activities are subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the state for public interest through valid legislation like PMLA. Thus it concluded that no further reference was required regarding this matter as there were already suċcient judicial precedents available on similar matters with respect to economic expenses committed using banking channels etc.
The present judgment is significant because it reinforces earlier judicial decisions about constitutionality & applicability of legal framework provided by acts like Prevention Of Money Laundering Act 2002; making sure oĊenders do not escape punishment due to lack of technicalities or loopholes within existing laws/regulations governing financial crimes committed using banking channels/systems in our country
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