THE TOTAL number of cases registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) has jumped almost three times in the first three years of the second term of the BJP-led government (2019-20 to 2021-22) as compared to the corresponding period in its first term (2014-15 to 2016-17).
According to data shared by Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Monday, the ED registered 14,143 cases under FEMA and PMLA between 2019-20 and 2021-22, as compared to 4,913 cases in 2014-15 to 2016-17 — an increase of over 187 per cent.
The break-up shows that 11,420 FEMA cases were taken up for investigation in the first three years of the second term, up from 4,424 cases in the first three years of the first term — an increase of over 158 per cent.
The cases registered under PMLA increased by more than five times in this period — from 489 between 2014-15 to 2016-17 to 2,723 in 2019-20 to 2021-22 — a jump of over 456 per cent.
According to the year-wise data, 2021-22 saw the highest number of money laundering and foreign exchange violation cases in the last eight years of the Modi government. In 2020-21, the ED filed 5,313 cases under FEMA (the previous high was 3,627 cases in 2017-18); and 1,180 under PMLA (up from 981 in 2020-21).
The reply, filed in response to a question asked by JD(U)’s Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh, states: “During the last 10 years, the Directorate of Enforcement has taken up around 24,893 cases for investigation under the provisions of FEMA and has recorded around 3,985 cases under PMLA.”
But an analysis of the data shows that 22,130 FEMA cases, or 89 per cent of the total cases, were filed in the last eight years. Similarly, 3,555 PMLA cases, or 89 per cent of the 3,985 cases, were filed in the last eight years.
According to the information shared by Chaudhary, till March 31, 2022, the ED had registered a total of 5,422 cases under PMLA ever since the law was enacted, of which 65.66 per cent were filed in the last eight years.
“Till 31.03.2022, the Directorate of Enforcement recorded around 5,422 cases under PMLA. It is pertinent to mention here that, after recording of a case under PMLA, necessary action as per provisions of PMLA is taken which resulted in attachment of proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 1,04,702 crore (approx), filing of prosecution complaint in 992 cases resulting in confiscation of Rs 869.31 crore, and conviction of 23 accused persons under PMLA,” Chaudhary said.
Similarly, a total of 30,716 cases were filed under FEMA till March 31, 2022, of which 72 per cent were registered in the last eight years.
“Till 31.03.2022, the Directorate of Enforcement has taken up around 30,716 cases for investigation under FEMA. It is pertinent to mention here that after taking up a case for investigation under FEMA, necessary action as per provisions of FEMA is taken which resulted in issuance of 8,109 Show Cause Notices (SCNs). Further, 6,472 SCNs were adjudicated under FEMA, thereby imposing penalty of around Rs 8,130 crore. Further, assets to the tune of Rs 7,080 crore (approx.) have been seized under FEMA,” Chaudhary said.