<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a stringent provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), deeming it unconstitutional. SC bench led by Justice Nariman deemed section 45 of the act as unconstitutional, reports ANI. The Modi government had strongly defended the provision dealing with stringent bail conditions, saying it is an effective tool to curb the menace of black money. According to News 18, the apex court accepted the contention of petitioners that this provision is bad in law, as it adheres to the principle of ‘jail is rule and bail an exception’. In essence, SC has set aside all orders in which bail was denied using the stringent provision and those case have to be heard afresh. Here’s what the section 45 in PMLA is45. Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable.—(1) 1Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), no person accused of an offence punishable for a term of imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless—(i) the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release; and(ii) where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail: Provided that a person who is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm, may be released on bail, if the special court so directs: Provided further that the Special Court shall not take cognizance of any offence punishable under section 4 except upon a complaint in writing made by—(i) the Director; or(ii) any officer of the Central Government or State Government authorised in writing in this behalf by the Central Government by a general or a special order made in this behalf by that Government.28 (1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), or any other provision of this Act, no police officer shall investigate into an offence under this Act unless specifically authorised, by the Central Government by a general or special order, and, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.(2) The limitation on granting of bail specified in 29 *** sub-section (1) is in addition to the limitations under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force on granting of bail.

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SC rules stringent bail provision in PMLA unconstitutional