Delhi High Court: ED Can Issue Summons but Not Arrest Under PMLA Section 50, Rules Justice Bhambhani

New Delhi – In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court asserted that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) possesses the authority to issue summons to individuals under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) but does not have the power to arrest them. This clarification came as the court emphasized that the ED cannot act arbitrarily when it comes to arrests.

Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani, who presided over the case, made these comments during the proceedings. The judgment is expected to have far-reaching implications for how the ED operates under the PMLA.

Section 50 of the PMLA has been a subject of debate in recent times, with concerns raised about the ED’s exercise of power in making arrests under this section. Justice Bhambhani’s remarks now bring clarity to the interpretation of this provision.

The ruling affirms that the ED’s authority is limited to issuing summons to individuals under Section 50 PMLA, and it does not extend to the power of arrest. This means that ED officials cannot detain individuals based on their discretion or arbitrary decisions.

This clarification is likely to have a significant impact on investigations related to financial crimes and money laundering, as it places a check on the ED’s powers and emphasizes the importance of due process in dealing with individuals who are subjects of inquiry.

It is important to note that the Delhi High Court’s ruling sets a precedent for ED’s operations under the PMLA, and it will be closely scrutinized by legal experts, government officials, and those who have been advocating for stricter oversight of the enforcement agency’s actions.

The court’s decision is expected to prompt discussions regarding possible amendments to the PMLA and may lead to a more comprehensive framework governing the ED’s activities.

This judgment underscores the importance of maintaining a balance between law enforcement and individual rights, ensuring that the rule of law prevails in financial crime investigations.


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