ED is not a super investigation agency: Kerala High Court

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday orally said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is not a ‘super investigating agency’, and its main responsibility is to trace property derived from the proceeds of crime, temporarily attach the property and prosecute. Have to make sure. Of criminals. The court made the comment when the ED’s counsel said that as an investigating agency, it has to look into all aspects of the 2021 Kodakara black money case, in which allegations were made against some BJP leaders. The high court was considering a petition filed by the AAP state president, who had accused the ED of lax attitude in investigating the case. “The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) can be invoked only when an FIR has been filed for a scheduled offence. The state police will register an FIR under the offenses mentioned in the PMLA and after registering the FIR, its jurisdiction will cease. The work of ED is limited to two acts, one is Foreign Exchange Management Act and the other is PMLA. What is their responsibility? They are not an investigating agency in that sense,” Justice Gopinath P said. what did the court say Justice Gopinath P said, “The duty of the ED is to attach or recover any property acquired from the proceeds of crime in case of any offense listed in the schedule of the law. ED is not a super CBI or whatever.” The court made the remarks while hearing a petition filed by the AAP state president, accusing the ED of a lax attitude in investigating the 2021 Kodakara case. ED says petition is clear abuse of law “The duty of the ED is to confiscate or recover any property acquired from the proceeds of crime in case of any offense listed in the schedule of the law. Justice Gopinath P said, ED is not a super CBI or whatever. The central agency said there are allegations against several people in the case. The petitioner said before the court that even after three years, the ED stands by its earlier statement that a file has been opened and the investigation is progressing. The petition said, nothing happened after that. ED counsel Jaishankar V Nair submitted that in 2021, the agency conducted the preliminary investigation, and it filed the information report of the enforcement case in 2023. The investigation is ongoing and efforts are being made to trace the proceeds of crime as well as money transactions in the case. Such cases require a careful investigation to trace the money trail, proceeds of crime and the persons involved and the perpetrators of the crime of money laundering. ED said the case under investigation by ED involves the offense of money laundering arising out of the scheduled offense of dacoity The agency said several people have been interrogated and their statements have been recorded. ED said the petition is clearly an abuse of the process of law. The PIL was neither maintainable in law nor tenable on facts as the petitioner was not linked in any way to the alleged crime. Moreover, a third party like the petitioner has no right to challenge the investigation by the competent authority under the garb of a PIL. The case pertains to an alleged highway robbery at Kodakara in Thrissur on April 3, four days before the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections. The complainant had told the police that Rs 25 lakh had been looted from his car. However, during investigation it was found that there was a total of Rs 3.5 crore in the vehicle and all the money had been looted. According to the prosecution, out of Rs 3.5 crore, only Rs 1.27 crore could be recovered. There were allegations that this money was for BJP’s assembly election campaign.

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