Enforcement Directorate (ED)
- The Directorate of Enforcement is a multi-disciplinary organization mandated with investigation of offence of money laundering and violations of foreign exchange laws. The statutory functions of the Directorate include enforcement of following Acts:
- The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA): It is a civil law enacted to consolidate and amend the laws relating to facilitate external trade and payments and to promote the orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India. ED has been given the responsibility to conduct investigation into suspected contraventions of foreign exchange laws and regulations, to adjudicate and impose penalties on those adjudged to have contravened the law.
- The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA): This law was enacted to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. It is a law whereby the Directorate is mandated to attach the properties of the fugitive economic offenders who have escaped from India warranting arrest and provide for the confiscation of their properties to the Central Government.
- Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA): It was enacted to fight against the criminal offence of legalizing the income/profits from an illegal source. The Act enables the Government or the public authority to confiscate the property earned from the illegally gained proceeds. The PMLA Amendment Act 2012 enlarges the definition of offence of money laundering. The new definition includes activities like concealment, acquisition, possession and use of the proceeds of crime as criminal activities.
Why in News?
- The Supreme Court questioned the Centre about the third extension of service granted to director of Enforcement Directorate (ED), Sanjay Kumar Mishra.
- The Director of ED enjoys a fixed tenure of two years from the date of their appointment.
- The ED Director is appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a committee chaired by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and members comprising of Vigilance Commissioners, Home Secretary, Secretary DOPT and Revenue Secretary.
- The ED director is appointed as per provisions of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003.