ED cannot investigate offence other than money laundering: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has held that it is the Enforcement Directorate (ED) cannot assume by itself that a predicate offence has been committed as it does not have the powers to investigate any offence other than money laundering.

The Single-judge Justice Yashwant Varma said that the primary function OF enforcement Directorate comprises of investigating the offences listed as scheduled offences in the PMLA vests in authorities constituted under those independent statutes.

The Court said that what needs to be emphasised is that the PMLA empowers the ED to investigate Section 3 offences only. It added that power to investigate and enquire stands confined to the offence of money laundering as defined in that Section.

The Court said that Enforcement Directorate cannot on its own motion proceed on the surmise that a particular set of facts evidence the commission of a scheduled offence and based on that opinion initiate action under the PMLA.

The Court added that if in the course of its enquiry and investigation, ED comes to the conclusion that the material in its possession shows the commission of an offence created under any other enactment, it would be obliged to furnish requisite information to the concerned agency for necessary action.