The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it would move the High Court against the trial court verdict acquitting all 19 accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case. The agency said the special court has not only failed to appreciate evidence on record but also not taken into account the fact that for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to be invoked, “criminal activity” is necessary, not “commission of offence”.
“The judgment passed by the L’d Special Judge for PMLA, Patiala House Court, New Delhi… is based on the finding of the L’d Court that there is no scheduled offence committed by the accused persons of the CBI chargesheet. Therefore, there is no proceeds of crime in the absence of any crime… The L’d Special Court appears to have failed to appreciate a number of factors which, inter alia, position the offence of money laundering as standalone offence. Besides, the observation/ findings of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in this case appear to have not been considered by the L’d Special Court,” an ED statement said.
The ED has said that the court failed to appreciate the provisions of PMLA correctly. It said that the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 is based on the term proceeds of crime but the same is defined under Section 2(1)(u) of PMLA as “criminal activity” and not “commission of an offence”.