ENFORCEMENT DIRECTORATE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     5th January 2024        

Context: Recently, Tamil Nadu farmers, who were targeted by the ED for money laundering, were found to have only Rs 450 in their account

Enforcement Directorate (ED)

  • About: The ED serves as a premier financial investigation and economic law enforcement agency within the Government of India.
  • Formation: In 1956, the 'Enforcement Unit' emerged within the Department of Economic Affairs, initially handling violations under the Exchange Control Laws of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1947 (later FERA 1973).
  • Renaming: By 1957, this unit was rebranded as the 'Enforcement Directorate,' and in 1960, its administrative control transitioned from the Department of Economic Affairs to the Department of Revenue.
  • Regulatory Framework: Originally regulated under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) of 1973 (later repealed), the Enforcement Directorate now draws its statutory powers from three distinct acts.
  • Current Status: Presently, the ED operates under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), and the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA).
  • Tenure and Extensions: The Director holds a fixed tenure of 2 years, with the possibility of a maximum of 3 annual extensions.