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Predicate Offence

Predicate Offence

Related Subject: – Polity, GS- II

Why in news: –

  • The Delhi CM Kejriwal in Delhi excise policy case can be booked for the offence of laundering proceeds of crime derived
  • from the case.
  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) criminalises money laundering.
  • According to PMLA, money laundering is defined as:
  • Whosoever directly or indirectly attempts to indulge in any process connected with the proceeds of crime, including its concealment, possession, acquisition shall be guilty of offence of money laundering.
  • Proceeds of crime is any property derived directly or indirectly, by any person as a result of criminal activity relating to a scheduled offence.
  • The law also defines scheduled offences, which are listed in two schedules attached to the PMLA.
  • These acts in the schedules (scheduled acts) are also called predicate offences.

Predicate offence

  • Predicate as an adjective means something said of a subject, originally from Latin praedicare meaning to proclaim or make known.
  • Predicate offenses in money laundering refers to a crime component of a larger crime.
  • In a financial context, the predicate offense would be any crime that generates monetary proceeds.
  • The larger crime would be money laundering or financing of terrorism.
  • A predicate offence is a crime that is a component of a more serious crime.
  • For example, producing unlawful funds is the primary offense, and money laundering is the predicate offense.

Cases associated with Predicate Offence

  • In a judgement in the Vijay Madanlal Choudhary & Ors v Union of India case, the Supreme Court upheld key provisions of the PMLA.
  • The court had said that if an accused in the predicate offence is acquitted or discharged, he cannot be prosecuted for the offence punishable under the PMLA.
  • The Supreme Court in Pavana Dibbur v Enforcement Directorate verdict, answered the question of, what if an accused is not
  • even shown as an accused in any scheduled or predicate offence.
  • The verdict said that an accused in the PMLA case who comes into the picture after the scheduled offence is committed, by assisting in the concealment or use of proceeds of crime, need not be an accused in the scheduled offence.
  • Here, the proceeds of crime that the accused has allegedly concealed or possessed must simply be linked to the scheduled offence.
  • Such an accused can still be prosecuted under PMLA so long as the scheduled offence exists, the court had said.

Source: – The Hindu, Indian Express

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