Supreme Court: Unlawful mining is not treated as proceeds of crime under PMLA

A writ petition was filed in the matter MMRDA for illegal mining.The question arised in the present petition was whether 21(5) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 is a proceeds of crime.

The court referred the case of Common Cause Vs. Union of India and Ors. reported in (2017) 9 SCC 499 to contend that there is no criminal liability in respect of deposit made in reference to direction under Section 21(5) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari observed that Section 21(5) gives State Government an authority to recover money from minerals.

In PMLA proceeds of crime means money obtained from an illegal activity, and MMDRA does not comes under PMLA as deposits can not be treated as proceeds of crime.

The Enforcement Directorate made this writ petition against the petitioner, the investigation by Enforcement Directorate will be put to hold till next consideration on April 7th 2021.

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