OpinionPolitics

Know how Enforcement Directorate works and why it is every Indian’s duty to support it

Ever since top notch Congress leaders are facing investigation under ED, ‘Democracy has yet again is in danger’ according to congress and its political allies.

  1. Chidambaram and D. K. Shivkumar, the top names of Congress party, are being questioned by ED in INX Media scam and case of Hawala money respectively.

Congress is blatantly spreading lie of misuse of ED by central government. It is blaming Amit Shah and Modi of vendetta politics.

What is ED? Can centre control its actions? Let us know the truth.

ED is an independent law enforcement agency.

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.

It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government Of India.

It is composed of officers from the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Corporate Law Service, Indian Police Service and the Indian Administrative Service.

Objective of the ED:

The prime objective of the Enforcement Directorate is the enforcement of two key Acts of the Government of India namely,

the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and

the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA)

Functions of the Enforcement Directorate:-

  1. ED, investigates suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA. Suspected violations includes,
  • non-realization of export proceeds,
  • “hawala transactions”,
  • purchase of assets abroad,
  • possession of foreign currency in huge amount,
  • foreign exchange violations and other forms of violations under FEMA.
  1. ED collects, develops and disseminates intelligence information related to violations of FEMA, 1999.

The ED receives the intelligence inputs from Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints etc.

  1. ED has the power to attach the asset of the culprits found guilty of violation of FEMA.

Attachment of the assets” means prohibition of transfer, conversion, disposition or movement of property by an order issued under Section 2 of Money Laundering Act.

  1. ED has a right to undertake search, seizure, arrest, conduct a prosecution action against offender of PMLA offence.
  2. To settle cases of violations of the FERA act of 1973 and FEMA of 1999 and to decide penalties imposed on conclusion of settlement proceedings.

ED is playing a very crucial role in fighting the menace of corruption in the country. Currently it is investigang ‘Hawala money’ related to Congress leader DK Shivkumar, the assets purchased by the Robert Vadra and some time ago it attached the assets of the fugitive offender Vijay Malya.

These rights have been bestowed upon ED by the Constitution of India. So whenever we hear rants of ‘Democracy is in danger’ when a corrupt is being prosecuted is just whining of political parties and their leaders who till recently had thought themselves ‘Untouchable’ by law.

What changed after Modi became Prime Minister?

The Indian prosecution network for anti-money laundering has all the elements in place, except the criminal.

In 11 years since July 2005, when the Enforcement Directorate, was asked to operate the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), no one has been convicted for the crime.

A stretched out judicial process, the lack of inter-agency coordination among the prosecution agencies and a crippling shortage of staff made have made it almost impossible ED to send anybody to serve jail time for their crimes.

ED has managed to sniff out over Rs 9,000 crore as suspected haul from money laundering in a decade.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the lead international tracking agency for financial crime, estimates the money being laundered at over 2 per cent of the GDP of its member countries, that is about Rs 120,000 crore for India.

Since Modi assumed office, his agenda was clear, ‘Na khaunga na khane doonga’.

PM Modi and ministry of Home Affairs are not interfereing with the functioning of ED. They are clearing the hurdles which were on ED’s path to bring a corrupt to justice. As we mentioned above, there were loopholes which enabled a criminal to escape jail. But now the government is making sure loopholes are being shut tight.

This gives an Iron hand to ED to choke corruption.

Why every Indian must support ED?

The effective functioning of ED is what acted as ticket for India to join FATF. And being a permenant member of FATF India now has an upper hand over Pakistan which is about to be blacklisted by the FATF.

Now protesting against ED, smearing campaigning against it, using ‘caste’card, crying’ vendetta politics’ will not serve any good to India, which is emerging as global leader in many stands.

If we have ever suffered corruption then it needs to be choked in every way possible.

It’s high time to raise above the politics of caste, class, state, language and work towards building global image of India as a country waging war against corruption.

Dr Sindhu Prashanth

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