The Delhi High Court on Monday will hear a petition challenging the inclusion of chartered accountants, company secretaries and cost accountants within the ambit of “reporting entities” under the anti-money laundering law and fastening of criminal liability on them in case of non-compliance of the legal provisions.
The petition by Rajat Mohan, a practising chartered accountant (CA), is listed for hearing before a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula.
The plea said by including CAs and other professionals within the definition of “reporting entities” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), “onerous obligations” have been put on them with consequences of noncompliance leading to criminal prosecution, and it virtually makes such professionals engage in “policing” their own clients with whom they interact in fiduciary capacity.
“The Petitioner by way of the present writ petition is challenging the validity of Gazette Notification No. S.O.2036(E) dated 03.05.2023 passed by the Respondents wherein they have read into the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and expanded the definition of the word ‘person’ used in Section 2(1)(sa)(vi) as well as the definition of the word ‘activity’ used in PMLA. Specifically, a class of professionals i.E., Chartered Accountants/Company Secretaries/Cost Accountants have been included within the definition of ‘Reporting Entities’,” the petition filed through advocates Shweta Kapoor and R K Kapoor said.