Discuss the roles and functioning of the office of enforcement directorate in India.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is an Indian government law enforcement body tasked with enforcing economic laws and combating economic crime.
It was established to deal with violations of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1947’s Exchange Control Law. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is now administered by the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Revenue. The ED today is a multi-dimensional organisation investigating economic offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act and FERA.
Powers of ED
- The PMLA was brought in to prevent parking of money outside India and to trace out the layering and the trail of money. The ED got its power to investigate these crimes under Sections 48 and 49 of the Act.
- Whenever any offence is registered by a local police station, which has generated proceeds of crime over and above ₹1 crore, the ED steps in. The ED can also carry out search (property) and seizure (money/documents) if it suspects money has been laundered.
- A person shall be guilty of the offence of money-laundering, if such person is found to have directly or indirectly attempted to indulge or knowingly assist a party involved in one or more of the following activities — concealment; possession; acquisition; use; or projecting as untainted property; or claiming as untainted property in any manner.
- If money has been laundered abroad, the PMLA court (constituted as per the Act) has the right to send a letter of rogatory under Section 105 (reciprocal arrangements regarding processes) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The said government can then share the documents and evidence needed by the agency.
Roles and functions
- After determining that the money has been laundered, the ED conducts a search (property) and a seizure (money/documents) under Sections 16 (power of survey) and 17 (search and seizure) of the PMLA.
- The authorities will assess whether or not an arrest is required under Section 19 based on this information (power of arrest).
- The ED can also conduct a search and seizure without inviting the subject for interrogation under Section 50.
- It is not essential to first summon the individual before beginning the search and seizure.
- Because the sentence under the PMLA does not exceed seven years, the ED has 60 days to file the prosecution complaint (chargesheet) once the offender is apprehended.
- If no one is arrested and just the property is attached, the prosecution complaint and attachment order must be filed within 60 days with the adjudicating body.
How to structure:
- Give an intro about ED
- Explain the roles and functions
- Mention the challenges faced