India Today - - COVER STORY -

The agency is the en­forcer of two harsh acts—the Pre­ven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Act (PMLA), 2002, and the Fugi­tive Eco­nomic Of­fend­ers Act (FEOA), 2018. Un­der PMLA, a state­ment recorded be­fore an in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer is ad­mis­si­ble in court as ev­i­dence. FEOA al­lows the ED to ir­re­versibly con­fis­cate the prop­er­ties of an of­fender

All of­fences un­der PMLA are non-bail­able. Of the 164 per­sons ar­rested by the ED un­der this law be­tween 2005 and 2019, only three per­sons got bail in less than two months

Once the ED at­taches the prop­er­ties of an ac­cused, it’s of­ten a long le­gal road to re­trieve the at­tached as­sets. In 2015, the agency was al­lowed to at­tach equiv­a­lent value of prop­erty in In­dia if the ac­cused had shifted ill-got­ten wealth out of In­dia

Un­like the CBI, the ED does not have a lock-up of its own with VIP fa­cil­i­ties; any­one in ED cus­tody has to spend nights at the lock-up of the near­est po­lice sta­tion

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