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Home » India » “PMLA is Pradhan Mantri ki Lal Aankh”: Kapil Sibal slams money laundering law

“PMLA is Pradhan Mantri ki Lal Aankh”: Kapil Sibal slams money laundering law

The Senior Advocate also claimed that at times the ED does not even have an "approver". An approver is an accomplice who becomes a witness after the court pardons them in exchange for their testimony against someone else.

By Newsd
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Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal claimed that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) actually stands for “Pradhan Mantri ki Lal Ankh” (PM’s glare) and has nothing to do with money laundering. “PMLA is Pradhan Mantri ki Lak Aankh. It has nothing to do with Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It means you can send them over to ED who can do whatever they wish to do,” Sibal said in a free-wheeling conversation with ANI.

Explaining his reason why he refers to the PMLA as an arbitrary legislation, Sibal said that the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) which is the law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing economic laws in the country, can arrest any accused based on any oral statement. “If you want to catch anyone, you can send him over to ED and then take the oral statement of anyone. The person can say anything orally, claiming to whom any random property belongs, and based on his statement, the accused is arrested. The case is then left hanging,” Sibal said.

Sibal said that another way of arresting someone under PMLA is to find a stretch of land anywhere, take anyone’s oral statement against someone and then arrest the accused based on that statement which is not even disclosed to the accused. “There are several ways of doing it. One of them is, you can go to a place that has land measuring five acres or two acres. You can take anyone’s statement claiming that this five or two-acre land belongs to the Chief Minister. You do not have any evidence. You serve a notice to the Chief Minister. You do not disclose the statement. You tell the Chief Minister that this land belongs to him, to which he disagrees. Following this, he is arrested. This is what is happening. Therefore it is Pradhan Mantri ki Lak Aankh,” he said.

The Senior Advocate also claimed that at times the ED does not even have an “approver”. An approver is an accomplice who becomes a witness after the court pardons them in exchange for their testimony against someone else.

Sibal also claimed that at times the person who gives the oral statement, at times, turns an “approver” in the case after a series of earlier statements. “The approver comes only in his twelfth statement. In the initial statements, he did not take any name. He became the approver in his twelfth statement and he gave the money,” the veteran politician said.

Explaining why he had earlier described the PMLA as a “Frankenstein monster,” Sibal said that the money laundering law is only used as a “strong arm” of the government since people are arrested only on the basis of oral statements. “It is a strong arm of the government. It has nothing to do with law enforcement. There is no evidence against (Arvind) Kejriwal, or (Manish) Sisodia or (Satyendar) Jain. There is no money trail. Nobody says how much money is given to whom. There is no bank account or anything. There are just oral statements of people,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Responding to why the courts do not easily grant bail to people arrested under PMLA, Sibal said, “Ask the courts. I keep on asking. I don’t get any response.” The Opposition has often criticised the Narendra Modi government for abusing central investigating agencies like the ED to target and harass their political opponents.

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