November 23, 2017
The Supreme Court on Thursday declared as unconstitutional a provision in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in laying down exceptionally stringent bail conditions. A bench led by Justice Rohinton F Nariman struck down Section 45 in the PMLA to the extent that it refuses bail to the accused on the basis of twin conditions.
The first condition says that no bail can be given without giving the public prosecutor an opportunity to oppose the bail plea. The second condition stipulated that the bail can be given only when the concerned court is prima facie satisfied that the accused is not guilty of the offence alleged against him. These two conditions made grant of bail virtually impossible in money laundering cases and the maxim tend to be shifted from “bail is rule and jail an exception” to “jail is rule and bail an exception”.