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The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002


6. Adjudicating Authorities, composition, powers, etc.-

1.     The Central Government shall, by notification, appoint one or more Adjudicating Authorities to exercise jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred by or under this Act.

2.     An Adjudicating Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and two other Members: Provided that one Member each shall be a person having experience in the field of law, administration, finance or accountancy.

3.     A person shall, however, not be qualified for appointment as Member of an Adjudicating Authority,-

a.     in the field of law, unless he-

                      i.        is qualified for appointment as District Judge; or

                     ii.        has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and has held a post in Grade I of that service;

b.    in the field of finance, accountancy or administration unless he possesses such qualifications, as may be prescribed.

4.     The Central Government shall appoint a Member to be the Chairperson of the Adjudicating Authority.

5.     Subject to the provisions of this Act,-

a.     the jurisdiction of the Adjudicating Authority may be exercised by Benches thereof;

b.    a Bench may be constituted by the Chairperson of the Adjudicating Authority with one or two Members as the Chairperson of the Adjudicating Authority may deem fit;

c.     the Benches of the Adjudicating Authority shall ordinarily sit at New Delhi and at such other places as the Central Government may, in consultation with the Chairperson, by notification, specify;

d.    the Central Government shall, by notification, specify the areas in relation to which each Bench of the Adjudicating Authority may exercise jurisdiction.

6.     Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5), the Chairperson may transfer a Member from one Bench to another Bench.

7.     If at any stage of the hearing of any case or matter it appears to the Chairperson or a Member that the case or matter is of such a nature that it ought to be heard by a Bench consisting of two Members, the case or matter may be transferred by the Chairperson or, as the case may be, referred to him for transfer, to such Bench as the Chairperson may deem fit.

8.     The Chairperson and every Member shall hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office: Provided that no Chairperson or other Member shall hold office as such after he has attained the age of sixty-two years.

9.     The salary and allowances payable to and the other terms and conditions of service of the Member shall be such as may be prescribed: Provided that neither the salary and allowances nor the other terms and conditions of service of the Member shall be varied to his disadvantage after appointment.

10.  If, for reasons other than temporary absence, any vacancy occurs in the office of the Chairperson or any other Member, then, the Central Government shall appoint another person in accordance with the provisions of this Act to fill the vacancy and the proceedings may be continued before the Adjudicating Authority from the stage at which the vacancy is filled.

11.  The Chairperson or any other Member may, by notice in writing under his hand addressed to the Central Government, resign his office: Provided that the Chairperson or any other Member shall, unless he is permitted by the Central Government to relinquish his office sooner, continue to hold office until the expiry of three months from the date of receipt of such notice or until a personally appointed as his successor enters upon his office or until the expiry of his term of office, whichever is the earliest.

12.  The Chairperson or any other Member shall not be removed from his office except by an order made by the Central Government after giving necessary opportunity of hearing.

13.  In the event of the occurrence of any vacancy in the office of the Chairperson by reason of his death, resignation or otherwise, the senior-most Member shall act as the Chairperson of the Adjudicating Authority until the date on which a new Chairperson, appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Act to fill such vacancy, enters upon his office.

14.  When the Chairperson of the Adjudicating Authority is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness or any other cause, the senior-most Member shall discharge the functions of the Chairperson of the Adjudicating Authority until the date on which the Chairperson of the Adjudicating Authority resumes his duties.

15.  The Adjudicating Authority shall not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and, subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Adjudicating Authority shall have powers to regulate its own procedure.



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