Enforcement Directorate (ED)

Why in news? Supreme Court Upholds Enforcement Directorate’s Powers,
Criticizes Tamil Nadu District Collectors

– The Supreme Court endorsed the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) extensive powers,                 asserting that the Central agency could summon “anybody for any information.“

– Four Tamil Nadu District Collectors faced criticism from the court for failing to appear
in person in response to summons issued by the ED regarding sand mining sites in
their districts.

– The Collectors cited the upcoming Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu and the need for
more time to gather information from various offices of the district administration.

– However, the court deemed their explanation unacceptable, emphasizing that their
conduct displayed a lack of respect for the court’s order to appear before the ED.

– The Collectors were reminded of their obligation to respect the court’s order and
appear before the ED, regardless of the availability of necessary data.

– During the proceedings, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that the Collectors were
neither witnesses nor accused individuals and questioned the ED’s authority to
summon anyone.

– Justice Trivedi clarified that Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act
(PMLA) empowered the ED to summon any person deemed necessary for
investigation or proceedings under the statute.

– The court directed the four Collectors to appear in person before the ED on April 25
and scheduled the case for further hearing on May 6.

About Enforcement Directorate (ED)


• The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is a specialized financial investigation agency
under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

• It is responsible for enforcing economic laws and combating economic crimes,
particularly those related to money laundering and foreign exchange violations.

Mandate and Objectives:

Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA):

The primary legislation governing the functioning of the ED is the Prevention of Money
Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). The agency investigates money laundering offenses and
confiscates properties derived from such criminal activities.

Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA):

The ED also operates under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act,
1999 (FEMA), which regulates foreign exchange transactions and violations related to
foreign exchange laws.

Functions and Responsibilities:


The ED conducts investigations into financial crimes, including money laundering, based
on intelligence inputs or specific complaints.


Upon completion of investigations, the ED files prosecution complaints before the
adjudicating authority and special courts.


The adjudicating authority under the PMLA adjudicates on matters related to
confiscation of proceeds of crime and imposition of penalties.

Asset Forfeiture:

The ED is empowered to confiscate properties derived from the proceeds of crime and
take action against individuals involved in money laundering activities.

International Cooperation:

The agency cooperates with foreign counterparts and international organizations to
combat transnational financial crimes and exchange information on money laundering

Preventive Measures:

Apart from enforcement actions, the ED also undertakes preventive measures to raise
awareness about money laundering and enforce compliance with financial regulations.

Organizational Structure:

• The ED is headed by a Director who is an officer from the Indian Revenue Service
(IRS) cadre.

• It operates through various zonal offices and sub-zonal offices across the country,
each headed by a Special Director or Joint Director.

• The agency also has a specialized directorate dealing with foreign exchange
violations under FEMA.

Challenges and Criticisms:

Legal Framework:

Critics argue that the legal framework governing the ED’s operations, particularly the
PMLA, provides extensive powers to the agency, raising concerns about individual rights
and procedural fairness.

Capacity Constraints:

The ED often faces challenges related to inadequate resources, including manpower
and technology, impacting its effectiveness in combating financial crimes.

Judicial Backlog:

Delays in the judicial process, including the adjudication of cases and disposal of
appeals, hamper the ED’s efforts to bring perpetrators of financial crimes to justice.

Political Interference:

Allegations of political interference in the functioning of the ED have been raised from
time to time, affecting its autonomy and credibility.

Recent Developments:

• The ED has been actively involved in high-profile cases, including those related to
bank frauds, cryptocurrency transactions, and money laundering involving politicians
and public figures.

• Efforts are underway to strengthen the legal framework governing the ED’s operations
and enhance its capabilities through modernization and capacity-building initiatives.

Key points from State of the Global Climate Report

State of the Global Climate Report

Record-Breaking Climate Trends:

– The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report highlights 2023 as the hottest
year globally, with temperatures reaching alarming levels.

– Significant records were broken in ocean temperatures, glacier retreat, diminishing
Antarctic ice cover, and observable sea level rise, indicating the severity of climate
change impacts.

Industrial Progress and Environmental Impact:

• Since the 18th century, industrial progress driven by mechanization and technological
advancements has improved living standards but also resulted in environmental

• Dependence on fossil fuels for energy needs has led to substantial greenhouse gas
emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.

The Paris Agreement and Global Commitments:

– The Paris Agreement, ratified in 2016, aims to limit global temperature rise well below
2°C and strive for 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

– Nations committed to reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to renewable
energy sources to mitigate climate change impacts.

India’s Climate Initiatives:

– India has implemented initiatives like the National Action Plan on Climate Change
(NAPCC) and the National Solar Mission to address climate change and promote
renewable energy adoption.

– However, the recent WMO report raises questions about the adequacy and
effectiveness of global and national climate actions.

Political Opportunity During Election Season:

– The ongoing election season presents an opportunity for political parties to address
climate change concerns and engage in meaningful discourse on climate action.

– Parties can enhance public awareness, outline concrete steps to mitigate global
warming’s impact, and demonstrate leadership in addressing environmental

Public Participation and Global Leadership:

– People’s participation in climate action will be crucial in shaping India’s global
leadership and economic prosperity agenda.

– Addressing climate change is integral to India’s aspirations of becoming a world
leader and ensuring the well-being of its citizens.


The State of the Global Climate report underscores the urgency of
collective action to combat climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Political
parties have a significant role to play in addressing this global challenge and shaping
India’s future trajectory.

Impact of Inflation on Delhi’s Urban Poor

Context and Political Assertions:

– Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claims success in curbing inflation in Delhi, attributing it
to effective implementation of state government schemes

– The ruling NDA leadership also touts economic management achievements,
contrasting with concerns over inflation’s impact on marginalized populations,
especially in Delhi’s slums.

Study Overview and Demographic Insights:

– Lokniti-CSDS study surveyed 1,024 respondents from Delhi’s slums, revealing
concerning trends regarding inflation’s effects on urban poor.

– Majority of respondents were employed, with significant roles held by women in
shouldering financial responsibilities.

Rising Prices and Stagnant Incomes:

– Overwhelming majority perceive significant inflation increase over the past two years,
particularly in household essentials like LP gas, electricity, and food items.

– Despite employment, 84% of households struggle with insufficient income to meet
needs, leading to various hardships.

Lifestyle Impact and Financial Disparity:

– Nearly half note no lifestyle improvement over two years, emphasizing income

– Disparity evident between income growth and expense increase, with majority
reporting stagnant or minimal income growth.

Attribution of Blame and Voting Concerns:

– Four in ten hold Modi-led Central government responsible for price rise, followed by a
quarter blaming Kejriwal’s State government.

– Price rise and unemployment top concerns for 2024 Lok Sabha elections among
respondents, followed by corruption and religious identity.

Voting Priorities and Discrepancy:

– Despite acknowledging inflation’s impact, only 35% cite it as a crucial voting issue,
indicating a discrepancy between daily life challenges and voting priorities.

– Other issues like unemployment and leadership also garner attention but to a lesser


– The study underscores the significant impact of inflation on Delhi’s urban poor,
revealing their struggles with stagnant incomes and rising expenses.

– Despite widespread acknowledgment of inflation’s effects, there exists a gap between
daily life challenges and voting priorities, suggesting a nuanced approach needed in
addressing voter concerns.