New Delhi: Seventeen Opposition parties and an Independent MP from Rajya Sabha, including the Trinamul Congress and AAP, on Wednesday expressed apprehensions about the long-term implications of the Supreme Court verdict upholding the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and called for a review.
In a joint statement, the leaders of the Opposition parties said the judgement will strengthen the hands of a government that "indulges in political vendetta" to target its opponents and expressed hope that this "dangerous verdict will be short-lived".
The statement said, "We place on record our deep apprehension on the long-term implications of the recent Supreme Court judgment upholding, in entirety, the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 without examining whether some of these amendments could have been enacted by way of Finance Act."
It further added, "We are also very disappointed that the highest judicial authority, invited to give an independent verdict on the lack of checks and balances in the Act, has virtually reproduced arguments given by the executive in support of draconian amendments. We hope that the dangerous verdict will be short-lived and constitutional provisions will prevail soon."
The Opposition said that the amendments have made it more conducive for the government to engage in political vendetta. The joint statement alleged that "These far-reaching amendments strengthened the hands of a government, indulging in political vendetta of the worst kind, by using these very amended laws relating to money laundering and investigation agencies, to target its political opponents in a mischievous and malicious manner."
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh shared the joint statement on Twitter, saying, "17 Opposition parties, including TMC & AAP, plus one independent Rajya Sabha MP, have signed a joint statement expressing deep apprehensions on long-term implications of the recent Supreme Court judgement upholding amendments to PMLA, 2002 and called for its review."
The statement comes a day after the Enforcement Directorate conducted raids on the premises of the National Herald newspaper in the national capital and elsewhere.
The Opposition parties added that they hold and will always hold the Supreme Court in the highest respect....