In a move to counter the narrative that ED is used by the government to attack political opponents, the Enforcement Directorate has said that only 2.98 percent of its overall ECIRs or complaints have been filed against serving or former MPs and MLAs even as its conviction rate under the anti-money laundering law is at a high of 96 percent.
The federal probe agency has published updated data of its action under the three laws it implements-- the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA)-- till January 31, 2023.
The ED was entrusted with enforcing the stringent provisions of the PMLA, enacted in 2002, from July 1, 2005. The law empowers the agency to summon, arrest, and attach the assets of the accused at the investigation stage and prosecute the offenders before a court of law.
The agency data said the ED filed a total of 176 Enforcement Case Information Reports (ECIRs), equivalent to a police FIR, against existing and ex MPs, MLAs and MLCs which comes to 2.98 percent of the total 5,906 such complaints filed since the law came into being.
It said a total of 1,142 prosecution complaints or charge sheets have been filed by it till now under the PMLA and it arrested a total 513 people under these ECIRs and prosecution complaints. The trial, according to the data, was completed in a total of 25 cases under the PMLA till this period, and, this resulted in a conviction in 24 cases. One case resulted in acquittal.
The number of accused convicted under the anti-money laundering law in these cases stands at 45. The percentage of conviction is as high as 96 percent, according to the data.
Since the opposition parties are targeting the government and the ED for partial investigation, the data presented by ED syas a different story.