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Enforcement Directorate (ED) and its major Functions

Hemant Singh

The term ‘Enforcement Directorate’ is most sought after in Indian politics. But most people are not aware of this term. So in this article, we have explained the meaning and functions of the Enforcement Directorate which is popularly known as ED.

About Enforcement Directorate (ED);

The Enforcement Directorate was established in the year 1956. Its Headquarters is situated at New Delhi.

ED is responsible for enforcement of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), and certain provisions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Directorate is under the administrative control of the Department of Revenue (under the Ministry of Finance) for operational purposes.

The Directorate enforced regulations under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 but later on, FERA is being replaced by the FEMA.

Enforcement Directorate has 10 Zonal offices each of which is headed by a Deputy Director and 11 sub Zonal Offices each of which is headed by an Assistant Directors.

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List of Zonal Offices is as Follows;

1. Mumbai

2. Delhi

3. Chennai

4. Kolkata

5. Chandigarh

6. Lucknow

7. Cochin

8. Ahmedabad

9. Bangalore

10. Hyderabad

Functions of the Enforcement Directorate:-

1. ED; investigates suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA. Suspected violations include; non-realization of export proceeds, “hawala transactions”, purchase of assets abroad, possession of foreign currency in huge amounts, non-repatriation of foreign exchange, foreign exchange violations, and other forms of violations under FEMA.

2. ED collects, develops, and disseminates intelligence information related to violations of FEMA, 1999. The ED receives intelligence inputs from Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints, etc.

3. ED has the power to attach the asset of the culprits found guilty of the violation of FEMA. “Attachment of the assets” means prohibition of transfer, conversion, disposition or movement of property by an order issued under Chapter III of the Money Laundering Act [Section 2(1) (d)].

4.  To undertake, search, seizure, arrest, prosecution action, and survey, etc. against offender of PMLA offence.

5. To provide and seek mutual legal assistance to/from respective states in respect of attachment/confiscation of proceeds of crime and handed over the transfer of accused persons under the Money Laundering Act.

6. To settle cases of violations of the erstwhile FERA, 1973 and FEMA, 1999, and to decide penalties imposed on the conclusion of settlement proceedings.

So this was all about the reason behind the establishment and functions of the Enforcement Directorate. ED plays a  crucial role in fighting the menace of corruption in the country. 

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