Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002: An Analysis from Lens of Principles of Law of Evidence

Sneha Hooda
LL.M. from National Law University, Delhi, India.

Volume III, Issue V, 2020

Money laundering has become the major cause of concern for the national economy in India. The prime legislation dealing with such activities is Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. Although the Act provides strict provisions for curbing the menace of routing illegal money, it also encroaches upon the rights of the alleged offenders. Seeking justice is every man’s legitimate right and any barrier in this journey demands analytical attention. This paper critically analyses the provisions of the Act in light of the principles of law of evidence. It engages in highlighting the inconsistencies between the evidence aspect of the Act with the well settled principles of law of evidence. Questions such as Whether Section 24 of the Act renders the principle of presumption of innocence ineffective or Whether evidentiary value attached to evidence under the Act is same as that under Indian Evidence Act, 1872 or Whether the statement recorded before the Investigating Officer under the Act is admissible evidence under the law, are taken up to find answers with an inquiry-based temperament. The analysis helps in understanding the need of amendments in the concerned Act to maintain interest of the society alongwith upholding general principles of criminal law jurisprudence especially with regard to the accused.

Keywords: Money laundering, Evidence, Evidentiary value, Burden of Proof