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Delhi HC refers petition against 2018 amendment of Prevention of Corruption Act to bench seized of the matter

Petitioner Advocate N. Pradeep Sharma raised the problem related to the consequences of amendment of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.

The Delhi High Court has referred a matter to divisional bench III challenging the continuity of proceedings under Section 7 and 13 the 2018 amendment of the Prevention of Corruption Act alleging that it takes away the powers of the Special Judge CBI.

A divisional bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh referred the matter to the bench comprising Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani noting that several other similar matters are pending before it.

The petition has been filed by Advocate N. Pradeep Sharma through Advocate Harsh K. Sharma raising issue relating to the consequences of amendment of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, whereby the existing provision of PC Act had been substituted with new “textual matrix”.

The plea stated, “Further, since in view of the Provisions of P.C. (Amendment) Act, 2018, the powers of the Special Judges, u/s 3 of P.C. Act, shall be confined to the Provisions of P.C. Act, as it exists after Amendment, the text of the statute is in “Present Tense”, therefore, because of Section 3 of PC Act, the Special Judge under PC Act ceases to have jurisdiction to try for the offences which are no more available in the Statute Book i.e. PC Act, 1988, as stood amended”.

Whereas, the plea further added, because of the said reason, all proceedings wherein Special Judge, exercising its power u/s 3 of P.C. Act, with respect to the pending trial, ceases to have any power to conduct further trial w.r.t. all Substituted Sections i.e. erstwhile Sections 7 to 10, 12, 14, 20 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (amongst others).

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