The Delhi High Court has directed the Union government to expedite steps for appointing chairperson and other members of the Appellate Authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). It gave the Centre eight weeks’ time.
Justice Pratibha M. Singh said that a large volume of cases are pending under the PMLA and hence, there is “dire need” for constitution of multiple Benches.
The HC’s order came during the hearing of a plea moved by one Gold Croft Properties Private Limited that had challenged the order passed by the Appellate Authority earlier in January in which it had rejected its application seeking transfer of PMLA proceedings to a Bench consisting of two members under Section 6(7) of the enactment.
“…. Before parting, this court would like to add that the Appellate Authority plays a significant role under the PMLA. This court takes judicial notice of the fact that there are a large volume of cases pending under the PMLA,” the court said.
It added that the Act contemplates the existence of a chairperson and other members as per Section 6(2) of the PMLA. It also contemplates the constitution of separate Benches.