Benami law: Seeking a review of the judgement by which several provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 were struck down, the Centre on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court urging an open court hearing on the matter.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, urged the bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha that the review plea be heard in open court keeping in mind the importance of the issue.
'We seek an open court hearing of the review...': Solicitor General
“This is an unusual request. We seek an open court hearing of the review. Due to this judgement, a lot of orders are being passed even though some of the provisions of the Benami Act were not even under challenge. Like the retrospectivity could not have been looked into (by the SC bench),” the top law officer said," the top law officer added. Following this, the CJI stated that the court will consider the matter.
Earlier on August 23, the apex court had struck down some provisions of the Benami law. One of the struck-down provisions provided for the punishment of a maximum jail term of three years or a fine or both for those indulging in ‘benami' transactions.
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SC termed provisional 'unconstitutional'
The apex court had termed the provision as “unconstitutional” on the ground of being “manifestly arbitrary”.
It had also held that the amended Benami law of 2016 did not have retrospective application and the authorities cannot initiate or continue criminal prosecution or confiscation proceedings for transactions entered into prior to the coming into force of the legislation. The apex court had also said that section 3(2) and section 5 of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 were vague and arbitrary.
(With PTI inputs)