Vijay Pal Dalmia, Advocate & Partner Vaish
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In this case of Madanlal Manekchand Jain Vs. State of Gujarat and Ors. [Criminal Misc. Application (For Regular Bail) No. 22552 of 2015], the validity of Section 45 of the PML Act, 2002 was questioned before the High Court of Gujarat.
The applicant contended that as a special leave petition is pending before the Supreme Court for final hearing, the applicant should be granted interim bail. The applicant in the above case who has been proven guilty of money laundering which is a cognizable offence as per section 45 of the PML Act, and according to the provisions of the above mentioned section if an accused is guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule, he shall not be released on bail. It was held that vires of section 45 of the PML Act should not be ignored just because a petition is pending before the Supreme Court.
SECTION 45: Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable.-
1. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),-
- every offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable;
- 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-
- the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release; and
- 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-
- the Director; or
- any officer of the Central Government or a State Government authorised in writing in this behalf by the Central Government by a general or special order made in this behalf by that Government.
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