Supreme Court justifies arrest of a person under PMLA if person informed about grounds in writing within 24 hours


The Supreme Court has justified the arrest of a person under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), in case the person was informed about the grounds of his arrest in writing within 24 hours of the arrest, satisfying the requirements under Section 19 of PMLA and Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India.

The order was passed on Friday by the Bench of Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma on the grounds that the expression "as soon as may be" in Section 19 of the PMLA can be read to mean "as early as possible" or "within a reasonably convenient" period of time.

Dismissing the petition of an accused, the Bench ruled that this would also be in line with the three-judge Supreme Court judgment in the Vijay Madanlal case, which had ruled that the action of informing the person arrested about the grounds of his arrest is sufficient compliance with Section 19 of the PMLA and Article 22(1) of the Constitution.

The Court noted that the arrested appellant was duly informed of why he was being arrested.