Enforcement Directorate

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Enforcement Directorate
प्रवर्तन निदेशालय
Official emblem of Enforcement Directorate
Official emblem of Enforcement Directorate
Parent Agency - Ministry of Finance
Parent Agency - Ministry of Finance
AbbreviationED
Agency overview
Formed1 May 1956
(67 years ago)
 (1956-05-01)
Legal personalityGovernment agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyIndia
Operations jurisdictionIndia
Governing bodyGovernment of India
Constituting instruments
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Rahul Navin, IRS, Director Enforcement
Parent agencyDepartment of Revenue, Ministry of Finance
Website
enforcementdirectorate.gov.in

The Directorate of Enforcement or Enforcement Directorate (ED) is a domestic law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crimes in India.[1] It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government Of India.[2] The Enforcement Directorate focuses on investigating and prosecuting cases related to money laundering, foreign exchange violations, corruption, and economic offenses. Its primary objective is to curb the generation and circulation of black money and to ensure compliance with the laws concerning foreign exchange and prevention of money laundering.

The origin of the ED goes back to 1 May 1956, when an "enforcement unit" was formed, within the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947. In 1957, the unit was renamed as the Enforcement Directorate.[3]

Objective[edit]

The prime objective of the Enforcement Directorate is the enforcement of three key Acts[4] of the Government of India namely, the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), and The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA).

Organisational structure[edit]

The Directorate of Enforcement, with its headquarters at New Delhi, is headed by the director of enforcement. There are five regional offices at Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata, and Delhi headed by special directors of enforcement.

Zonal offices of the directorate are at Pune, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Panaji, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, and Srinagar.[5] These are headed by a joint director.

The directorate has sub-zonal offices at Mangaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Kozhikode, Indore, Madurai, Nagpur, Allahabad, Raipur, Dehradun, Ranchi, Surat, Shimla, Vishakhapatnam and Jammu[5] which are headed by a deputy director.

Special courts[edit]

For the trial of an offence punishable under section 4 of PMLA, the Central Government (in consultation with the chief justice of the High Court), designates one or more Sessions Court as Special Court(s). The court is also called "PMLA Court". Any appeal against any order passed by PMLA court can directly be filed in the High Court for that jurisdiction.[6]

Conviction rate[edit]

ED has so far lodged 5906 Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), resulting in arrest of 513 persons[7]. In July 2023, data shared by the Union government in the Parliament showed that out of 31 cases that completed trial under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the last nine years, 29 cases resulted in convictions. This equates to a conviction rate of 93.54%,[8] which exceeds the national conviction rate for offenses under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which stood at 57% in 2021.[9]

Criticisms[edit]

The cases by ED have gone up six times in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second term, which led to accusations by opposition parties stating that ED is being misused by the BJP for their political ends.[10] In April 2023, Supreme Court of India turned down a petition by 14 opposition parties accusing the Narenda Modi led government of misusing central agencies.[11] In August 2023, in a debate in the parliament, Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi from BJP told the opposition, "keep quiet, or ED may may arrive at your home"[12][13]

Acts of parliament governing the ED[edit]

  • Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA)[14]
  • Prevention Of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)
  • Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA)
  • Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA)

Internal structure[edit]

Directorate of Enforcement is having following hierarchy of the officers; Assistant Enforcement Officer-Enforcement Officer-Assistant Director-Deputy Director-Joint Director-Special Director-Director. However, with increasing workload and to adjust the hierarchical needs other designations like additional director are also introduced. Directorate recruits officers as Assistant Enforcement Officer (AEO). AEOs are promoted to various levels of hierarchy and serve the Directorate of Enforcement throughout their career however a large chunk of officers are taken on deputation at various level and they remain on temporary basis in ED for 2 to 5 years.

ED's Arrest Powers Limited: SC[edit]

On 27 July 2022, The Supreme Court of India upheld the provisions of the act and retained the powers of the Enforcement Directorate under the PMLA,[15][16][17] which was criticised for putting the personal liberty of citizens at risk by the undue process allowed by the provisions of PMLA.[18][19]

On 22 August 2022, Supreme Court accepted a petition to review its 27 July 2022 judgement which upheld core amendments made to the PMLA.[20] On 25 August 2022, Supreme Court said that two provisions need reconsideration: 1.) not providing a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report to the accused, and 2.) reversal of the presumption of innocence.[21]

On August 21, 2023, in a significant ruling, the Supreme Court of India clarified that Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials are not equivalent to police officers and hence, cannot make arrests under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The apex court's decision came in response to the case presented by V. Senthil Balaji and liquor syndicate racket in Chhattisgarh. Emphasizing the importance of adhering to the rule of law, the Supreme Court stated that the ED cannot operate as "a law unto itself." This landmark judgment underscores the boundaries of power and authority vested in the ED, ensuring checks and balances in its operations.[22][23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official Website". Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  2. ^ "ED (Enforcement Directorate)". Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Organisational History". Enforcement Directorate. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Directorate of Enforcement". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  5. ^ a b "ED (Enforcement Directorate)". Directorate of Enforcement. Archived from the original on 26 January 2020.
  6. ^ "ED website - FAQ". directorateofenforcement. Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Statistics | Directorate of Enforcement". enforcementdirectorate.gov.in. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  8. ^ Press Trust of India (24 July 2023). "Over 93% conviction rate in money laundering cases in 9 years: Govt". Business Standard. Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  9. ^ "NCRB Crime Statistics 2022 Vol 3" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2023.
  10. ^ "ED Action Has Increased Dramatically Under Modi Govt, Parliament Reply Reveals". The Wire. 26 July 2022. Archived from the original on 17 August 2022. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  11. ^ "Opposition's Case Against "Misuse Of Agencies" Rejected By Supreme Court". NDTV. 5 April 2023. Archived from the original on 14 June 2023. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  12. ^ "'Keep Quiet Or ED May Arrive At Your Home': Meenakshi Lekhi Warns Oppn During Debate Over Delhi Ordinance Bill (WATCH)". Free Press Journal. Archived from the original on 4 August 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  13. ^ Meenakshi Lekhi Warns Opposition Of ED Raid | Parliament Session on YouTube
  14. ^ @Digitalhindi (3 January 2023). "What is ED and ED Full Form". Archived from the original on 4 January 2023. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  15. ^ Sarda, Kanu (18 August 2022). "Explained: Supreme Court's big verdict on Prevention of Money Laundering Act". India Today. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  16. ^ Rajagopal, Krishnadas (27 July 2022). "Supreme Court upholds powers of arrest, raids, seizure under PMLA". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Supreme Court upholds powers of Enforcement Directorate". The Telegraph Online. 22 July 2022. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  18. ^ Ramakrishnan, Nitya (3 August 2022). "Undue Process: Here's What's Wrong With the Supreme Court's PMLA Judgment". The Wire. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  19. ^ "Narrow view: On the Supreme Court's PMLA verdict". The Hindu. 29 July 2022. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  20. ^ Rajagopal, Krishnadas (22 August 2022). "Supreme Court agrees to list petition for review of the judgment that upheld PMLA amendments". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  21. ^ Scroll Staff (25 August 2022). "PMLA verdict: Supreme Court says two aspects of judgement need reconsideration". Scroll.in. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  22. ^ "ED officials not police officers, can't make arrests under PMLA: TN Minister Senthil Balaji tells SC". The Indian Express. 26 July 2023. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  23. ^ "ED cannot be a law unto itself, says SC". Hindustan Times. 21 August 2023. Retrieved 26 August 2023.

External links[edit]