What Is PMLA In Which Arvind Kejriwal Has Been Arrested? Why Bail In Money Laundering Case Is Tough | Explained

Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested on Thursday, has been sent to a 6-day ED custody till March 28 in the excise policy case. Top leaders of AAP, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal are finding it tough to get bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, of 2002, due to its stringent provisions.
'10 SUVs, 3 Sedans, And 1 Delhi Police Bus': What Went Down During Arvind Kejriwal’s Arrest

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on Thursday night amid high drama, after two-hour long questioning by ED officials.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been sent to a 6-day ED custody till March 28 in the excise policy case. AAP chief was arrested by the central probe agency on Thursday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, (PMLA) in connection with a money laundering case related to a liquor scam.
Securing a bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, of 2002, poses significant challenges due to its stringent provisions. Enacted in 2002 and enforced from July 1, 2005, this law aims primarily at curbing money laundering activities. Subsequent amendments in 2012 expanded its scope to include banks, mutual funds, and insurance companies within its jurisdiction.

Why AAP Leaders Arrested Under PMLA Are Finding It Tough To Get Bail

Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) imposes stringent conditions for bail, making it difficult for accused individuals to secure their release. All offences under the PMLA are cognizable and non-bailable, with no provision for anticipatory bail. This means that those arrested under the PMLA must demonstrate in court that the charges against them lack merit, which can be a formidable task.
For instance, former Delhi government ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain are currently in jail under the PMLA, along with AAP leader Sanjay Singh. The stringent bail conditions under the PMLA have sparked debate and scrutiny.
In 2018, the government introduced two stringent conditions for bail under section 45 of the PMLA. These conditions require the court's belief in the accused's innocence and the absence of any risk of the accused committing further offences while on bail. The Supreme Court upheld the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) powers and the 2018 amendment to the PMLA Act, asserting that money laundering is a grave offence that undermines the nation's social and economic fabric.
The intricate process of obtaining bail under the PMLA, combined with the burden of proving innocence, presents a formidable legal challenge for accused individuals. The rigorous bail conditions under the PMLA also highlight the gravity of money laundering and the efforts to combat such illicit activities.

Kejriwal Sent To 6-Day ED Custody

The Delhi Rouse Avenue Court on Friday sent Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to 6-day ED custody. The ED had sought 10-day custody of the Delhi Chief Minister. Meanwhile, the Delhi CM on Friday said he will not resign from the post, despite his arrest in the liquor scam case. When asked by Times Now while he was being taken out of court on Friday evening if he would resign from the post, the Chief Minister simply said, "No".
Kejriwal becomes the fourth prominent Aam Aadmi Party leader to encounter coercive measures from the ED in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. Earlier, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh were detained and are presently in judicial custody, while Satyendar Jain faces a similar fate in a separate money-laundering case.

ED's 7 Big Charges Against Arvind Kejriwal

  1. ASV Raju, the Additional Solicitor General representing the ED, labelled Arvind Kejriwal as the "key conspirator and kingpin" in the Delhi liquor scam case.
  2. The ED accused Kejriwal of directly participating in formulating the Delhi Excise Policy, marking another significant charge against him.
  3. Kejriwal faced allegations of directly handling the proceeds of crime, amounting to over Rs 600 crore, according to ASV Raju.
  4. The ED claimed that the proceeds of the crime were utilised to fund the AAP's election campaign in Goa before the state elections.
  5. Allegations were made that Kejriwal demanded kickbacks from the 'South Group' in exchange for favourable treatment.
  6. Vijay Nair, a key aide to Kejriwal and AAP's former communication head, was accused of acting as a middleman between the South Group and AAP, operating in proximity to Kejriwal's residence.
  7. The ED alleged that Kejriwal misused his authority to surveil ED officials, presenting evidence to support this claim.
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