The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Law Commission, Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Finance in a petition praying that sentence imposed in cases relating to terrorism, separatism, and corruption be consecutive and not concurrent.
The petitioner has sought a declaration from the Court stating that the sentences awarded under Special Laws relating to terrorism, separatism, and corruption must run consecutively and not concurrently. Some of the Special laws specified by the petitioner are the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018. (consecutive sentence)
It is averred in the petition that “cash transactions are the root cause of many evils” and unlawful cash transactions and money laundering is associated with many crimes such as extortion, trafficking, and terrorism. (consecutive sentence)
“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. 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.”
Based on the above grounds, the petitioner has prayed for a declaration that sentence for a conviction under special laws relating to corruption, separatism, and terrorism be consecutive.