How strong will the attack on corruption be in Modi 3.0? The opinion of allies is also important

Ananya Shroff
5 Min Read

New Delhi:After the Lok Sabha election results, PM Narendra Modi has spoken about eradicating corruption from its roots and his statement is being considered important. After the indication given by the PM, the existing law under which CBI and ED are working will definitely get more strength. But this time when Narendra Modi will be crowned as PM, this government will be of NDA, that is, the majority figure is not on the strength of BJP alone and the role of allies will be very important because the opposition has been constantly cornering the government over the use of ED and CBI. In such a situation, the controversy over the law related to corruption and money laundering can deepen further.

What has been the controversy over the PMLA law?
The opposition has been questioning all the provisions of PMLA. Many provisions of this law were also questioned in the Supreme Court. For example, at the time of arrest, a copy of the ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) is not shared with the accused and the accused does not know what material the agency has to arrest him. The condition of double bail under Section 45 of the PMLA Act was questioned and it was said that it violates the right to life and liberty under Article 21. Under this law, the accused has to satisfy the court himself that the accused is not guilty for bail. Section 19 of the Act provides for arrest and apart from this, the ED officer can take the accused into custody during the summons and this provision is arbitrary.

If the statement of the accused is recorded under Section 50, it is used in the proceedings. The statement recorded by the ED is used as valid evidence, whereas it is a violation of Article 20(3) of the Constitution because the Constitution says that no one can be forced to testify against himself. The central government has been constantly justifying all these provisions and the Supreme Court has also approved it, but after this the matter is again before the Supreme Court and the review petition is to be heard. Now the central government will have to put its side strongly afresh. But the Supreme Court has been questioning many provisions of the PMLA law and has been strict on the ED. So in such a situation, the stand of the central government on the question raised before the Supreme Court regarding the PMLA law and the power of the ED will prove to be very important.

Delhi Special Police Act and powers of CBI
The CBI has been given all the rights to investigate corruption and questions have been raised on it many times. However, the Supreme Court has made it clear that the CBI does not need the approval of the competent authority to investigate corruption cases. The Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court had said in 2023 that in case of corruption, the CBI can take action against Joint Secretary and above officers from the date of implementation of the legal provision. In fact, the Supreme Court had rejected Section 6A of the Delhi Special Establishment Act (DSPE) by giving a verdict in 2014. It was said in this provision that approval from the concerned authority would have to be taken before investigating against Joint Secretary and above officers. But the Supreme Court had declared the provision of this approval as unconstitutional.

On November 19, 2020, the Supreme Court had said that the CBI needs the permission of the concerned state to investigate a corruption case against an official in the state. The provision of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act states that the investigating agency cannot investigate without the permission of the state. In the case of crimes (crimes like murder and rape) occurring in any state, CBI investigation can be done only on the recommendation of the state government or on the order of the Supreme Court and High Court.

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