The Supreme Court of India has held that once the Special Court dealing with PMLA cases has taken cognizance of the offence U/s 4 of PMLA on the filing of a complaint by ED and issued summons, the ED cannot arrest the accused and the accused does not have to apply for bail U/S 45 of PMLA.

Any complaint U/s 44(1)(b) of the ED is governed by Sections 200-205 of CrPC which are not inconsistent with any provision of PMLA.If the accused has not been arrested by the ED till the filing of complaint, the Special court needs to issue summons.

When the accused appears in response to summons, the accused is not to be treated as if the accused is in custody.Thus it is not necessary for the accused to apply for bail.The special court can direct the accused to furnish bond.In case the accused does not appear, the special court can issue warrant U/S 89/70 of CrPC.

Thus the Supreme Court has clarified the power of the ED to arrest in PMLA cases and the phenomenon of blanket power in the hands of the ED is reduced and restricted.

Tarsem Lal Vs ED decided by the Supreme Court of India on May 16, 2024.


Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.