SC ruling a shot in the arm for ED: Karnal Singh

One-liner: The recent SC verdict clarifying various provisions of the PMLA has allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to attach assets and carry out raids even prior to the registration of the predicate offence, former ED Director Karnal Singh has said.

PMLA provisions: The apex court on July 27 issued its directives in a 545-page order after hearing a clutch of pleas concerning the validity and interpretation of a number of provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Due diligence: Explaining the order, the former ED chief said while the SC verdict gives a shot in the arm to the agency, in a few instances, it also brings more accountability upon the investigators to conduct due diligence before going ahead in a case.

Clarity to ED: He said the SC order can be seen as a directive that gives clarity to ED officers, courts and advocates about the meaning of various sections of the anti-money laundering law and therefore its implementation will be smoother than it was previously.

Bottom line: Singh also dismissed charges made by political parties and others that the ED had a very poor conviction rate.

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