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Provision for lesser penalty u/s 13 of Money Laundering Act would be applied retrospectively: HC

September 11, 2019[2019] 109 80 (Delhi)

FEMA, BANKING AND INSURANCE : Delhi High Court upholds order passed by Appellate Tribunal whereby it had modified orders passed by Director, FIU under section 13(2) of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 from a monetary fine to a warning in writing, in terms of section 13(2)(a) as substituted with effect from 15-2-2013

• Under the unamended provision, Director had no discretion except to levy a fine in cases where failure to comply with provisions of section 12 was established. The object of substituting sub-section (2) of section 13, is to enable the Director to impose a lesser penalty of a warning in writing, or to issue specific instructions or call for reports where warranted. Given the objective of legislature, there is no reason why such provision should not be construed as applicable retrospectively.

• Law that empowers any vested right, or creates any obligations or imposes duty or attaches new disability, must be applied prospectively unless intention of legislature to apply same retrospectively is clear from terms of enactment or is to be necessarily inferred.

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