Wrap up probes early, improve conviction rate: Hasmukh Adhia to ED

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Mew Delhi | Updated: May 1, 2016 7:59:01 AM

Enforcement Directorate’s conviction rate is very very poor.” “It is so because our accused are very very influential and powerful.”

Adhia, as one of the key speakers at the event, sort of took ED to task for its tardy probe and almost zero convictions. (Express Photo)Adhia, as one of the key speakers at the event, sort of took ED to task for its tardy probe and almost zero convictions. (Express Photo)

Enforcement Directorate’s conviction rate is very very poor.” “It is so because our accused are very very influential and powerful.”

This exchange happened on Saturday between revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia and Enforcement Directorate director Karnal Singh, while the two were at a public event to celebrate Enforcement Directorate Day. MoS (finance) Jayant Sinha, several senior bureaucrats and IPS officers (including IB chief Dineshwar Sharma) were also in attendance.

 

Adhia, as one of the key speakers at the event, sort of took ED to task for its tardy probe and almost zero convictions. While recognising that ED was short-staffed and facing recruitment problems, Adhia said, “The amount of delay in finishing probes is inordinate …We need to do something about it. Don’t put fingers in too many pies. Pick the case you can finish. It’s not a good idea to keep so many cases open for so many years.”

He went on to further chide the agency, saying, “While investigations have led to many prosecution complaints being filed, the actual conviction rate is very very poor. Focus on prosecution. Proof of the pudding is in its eating.

Conviction is the actual result of your efforts. I will monitor it.” Adhia seemed to have touched a raw nerve, as immediately after he finished his speech, Karnal Singh stood up and walked to the podium before Jayant Sinha could be called to take the mike.

After apologising for making such an intrusion in the schedule, Singh sought to calmly clarify: “If we have no conviction, then there are no acquittals either. The cases are pending in the court. We are trying our best. Our accused are very influential and powerful people. At the drop of a hat they go to the court. There are interventions on various fronts. Right from whether PMLA is legitimate or not.” He, however, conceded that Adhia’s criticism on delay in investigations was legitimate. “It is true we have cases pending with us since 2000. We are working towards making this better,” he said.

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