Of the 5,906 cases registered by the ED since 2005, the probe agency has been able to complete investigation and file charge sheets in only 1,142 cases. The probe reveals that since 2014, 121 politicians have been under the scanner of the ED, out of which 115 are Leaders of the Opposition.
New Delhi: Since 2005, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), one of the premier investigative agencies probing economic offenses in the country, has registered 5,906 cases. Of them, the agency has been able to dispose of only 25 cases, which is just 0.42 per cent of the total cases, but the ED wants people to ignore this small number while claiming 96 per cent convictions.
The ED has secured convictions in 24 out of 25 cases, but the fact is that in its 17 years of existence, it has managed to bring only 25 cases to conclusion. It explains the way both the state machinery and the judiciary work.
The central probe agency has published updated data of its action till January 31, 2023, under the three laws. These three laws include Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA).
The agency attributes the relatively low disposal rate to ‘wealthy accused’ using the PMLA law that came into force in 2005 and legal tactics that thwart the prosecution’s efforts to speed up investigations, whichgood lawyersHave been able to lobby since.
It may be noted that the ruling BJP government has been accused of using the ED as a weapon to target from time to time, especially against the opposition leaders.
Several opposition leaders, from ministers in the former Mahavikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra led by Uddhav Thackeray to leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, have faced ED probe in recent years.
However, in the recently released data, the agency has said that in only 3 percent of the total cases, the current and former elected representatives are accused. It further said that out of 5,906 cases, only 176 involved sitting and former MPs, MLAs and MLCs.
last year in september The Indian Express These figures were kept in a report published in. This shows that almost 85 per cent of cases involving politicians were registered against people in the opposition. The report says that the ED’s pattern mirrors the pattern adopted by another central agency, the CBI.
The Indian Express had also found a “sharp rise” in the number of opposition politicians and their close relatives who have come under its scanner “since the Narendra Modi-led BJP government came to power at the Center in 2014”.
According to the report, “Investigation reveals that since that year, 121 prominent politicians have been under the scanner of the ED, of which the agency has booked, raided, interrogated or arrested 115 opposition leaders (95 per cent).” Is.
Out of 5,906 cases, the ED has been able to complete investigation and file charge sheets in only 1,142 cases. This number is quite low because the ED, like most other central agencies, is accused of only registering cases and not taking them to their logical end.
news website scroll has also investigated the functioning of ED and found that cases have increased very rapidly after the 2019 amendment in the PMLA Act.
Scroll’s report states, ‘Between April 2020 and March 2021, when India imposed a lockdown to contain the Kovid-19 pandemic, 981 cases were registered under the PMLA. This is the highest number of cases since this law came into existence. However, the conviction rate in money laundering cases remains dismal.
Here too the figures point to the opposition leaders being targeted.
According to the report, ‘The leaders of almost every major opposition party in India are facing money laundering cases. Importantly, investigations against him have often come to the fore when he is engaged in high-level battles with the BJP.
To read this report in English click here
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