What does ED stand for in the Indian political context? It stands for Enforcement Directorate. ED is the country’s central investigative agency. In the last year alone, the ED has charged more than 20,000 people in criminal investigations. The investigations are often politically motivated, but there are also plenty of instances where a political investigation is not, as with the case of Jagan Mohan Reddy. The ED, in response to a CBI FIR, has been probing the YSR Congress Party leader. It has claimed that Jagan floated several companies that benefited the beneficiaries of state decisions.
According to the ED website, more than a quarter of the department’s staff members are deputed from other departments. The Directorate’s total workforce is about 2000. The agency is headed by an Assistant Enforcement Officer (AEO). The ED is part of the Department of Economic Affairs, and started as a branch of the Department of Economic Affairs on 1 May 1956. Its primary function is to enforce the Exchange Control Laws. In 1957, the ED was renamed Implementation Directorate. On that date, Sanjay Kumar Mishra was appointed as Secretary of Government of India.
Before 2017, the ED had only managed to secure two convictions, and these were for relatively small amounts. The sums involved ranged from Rs 3 lakh to Rs four crore. In the past eight months, however, the ED has obtained 11 convictions and over the past year has prosecuted more than one million people. Nevertheless, the majority of convictions came after 2002. For example, Hari Narayan Rai was sentenced to seven years in prison for laundering Rs 3.7 crore.
The ED has the power to book individuals under 29 laws and 160 sections. The proceeds of crime are often deemed “proceeds” and often end up in foreign countries. The PMLA aims to prevent this and trace the trail of these funds. Sections 48 and 49 of the PMLA are the most commonly used laws for detecting ill-gotten wealth. With this authority, ED can seize the assets of individuals and companies.
ED is the investigative arm of the Indian government. Its main job is to enforce the Indian government’s economic laws and fight economic crimes. The ED’s full name is Prvrtn Nideshaaly Mahaanideshaaly, which means “Enforcement Directorate” in Hindi. The ED is made up of officials from the IRS, IPS, and IAS.
The ED is also empowered to attach property equivalent to the proceeds of crime. Such property cannot be attached to the bank’s property. The ED may do this on its own, if it finds out that the owner is an innocent party. The ED also has the power to seize the property in question, if it is held by a convicted criminal. The ED’s power is based on the Finance Act, which grants ED the unrestricted power to investigate, arrest, and harass individuals.
The ED was founded in 1956. It was initially called the Enforcement Unit. Its primary role was to enforce the Exchange Control Law under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1947. Its headquarters were in New Delhi, and two regional offices were in Bombay and Calcutta. Later, the Directorate added the Madras branch. The ED is made up of officers from various branches of the Indian government and the police. Its website lists several targets related to the fight against money laundering in India.