Supreme Court seeks response from Centre on PIL
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and Law Commission on a petition seeking successive jail terms for persons convicted of offences of terrorism, separatism and corruption.
The petition filed by advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader AK Upadhyay argues that a Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) provision, which provides that a convict can serve varying jail terms simultaneously for several offences, should not be made applicable to the convicts in heinous cases.
Punishment given under the special laws should run consecutively and not concurrently because “cash transactions are the root cause of many evils”, reads the petition.
The Section 31 of the CrPC should not apply to special laws such as “the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), the Black Money and Imposition of Tax Act, and Fugitive Economic Offenders Act,” said the public interest litigation (PIL), which may come up for hearing within a few week.
“Money laundering is not an independent crime and depends upon a predicate offence, the proceeds of which are the subject matter of the crime in money laundering,” read Upadhyay’s petition.
“Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on our country. It undermines democracy and rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows terrorism, Naxalism, smuggling, money laundering and extortion and other threats to human security, to flourish,” the petition read.
Referring to the recent terror attack in Pulwama, along with various instances of terror attacks across the country, the petitioner said the instances of cross-border terrorism and activities of insurgent groups have also seen a surge in the recent past.
Laws such as the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure were not designed to address such grave issues, he said.