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Adjudicating Authority under PMLA, 2002

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE


Context:
The Adjudicating Authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) has confirmed the attachment of assets belonging to the Congress party-promoted National Herald newspaper.

 

What is Adjudicating Authority under PMLA, 2002?

The Adjudicating Authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) is responsible for confirming provisional attachment orders (within 180 days) issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in cases of suspected money laundering. It ensures that assets suspected to have been acquired through proceeds of crime are properly dealt with according to the law. Once confirmed by the authority, the attachment order allows the ED to take possession of the assets, leading to potential confiscation if the accused is convicted.

The accused can continue to use the property until the adjudicating authority approves the seizure. After, the adjudicating authority’s approval, ED will take control of it.

 

After the Adjudicating Authority confirms the attachment, the accused can take the following actions:

  1. Right to appeal: The accused can challenge the confirmation order at the PMLA’s Appellate Tribunal within 45 days
  2. Appellate tribunal: If the Appellate Tribunal confirms the order, the accused can appeal to the High Court.
  3. Status of property: The owner cannot access the property until the trial is completed unless it’s released.
  4. Final confirmation: Once confirmed, for residential property, the ED takes possession after the owner vacates.
  5. Conviction outcome: If convicted, the trial court may order confiscation and transfer ownership to the central government.