Organisational History

Directorate of Enforcement is a Multi Disciplinary Organization mandated with the task of enforcing the provisions of two special fiscal laws – Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). Besides directly recruiting personnel, the Directorate also draws officers from different Investigating Agencies, viz., Customs & Central Excise, Income Tax, Police, etc. on deputation. On 11th March, 2011, after the approval of Government the Directorate underwent a massive restructuring becoming a force of 2067 Officers/Staff from 758, simultaneously raising number of its offices from 21 to 49 across India. However, process is still underway to have a full contingent of work force and to have all the 49 offices functional.

2. The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1st May, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA ’47); this Unit was headed by a Legal Service Officer, as Director of Enforcement, assisted by an Officer drawn on deputation from RBI, besides 03 Inspectors of Special Police Establishment; besides Delhi Hqrs., to start with, there were 02 branches – at Bombay and Calcutta. In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’, and another branch was opened at Madras. The administrative control of the Directorate was transferred from Department of Economic Affairs to Department of Revenue in 1960. With the passage of time, FERA’47 was repealed and replaced by FERA, 1973. For a short period of 04 years (1973 – 1977), the Directorate remained under the administrative jurisdiction of Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms.

3. With the onset of the process of economic liberalization, FERA, 1973, which was a regulatory law was repealed and in its place, effective 1st June, 2000, a new law – Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) came into operation. Further, in tune with the International Anti Money Laundering regime, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) was enacted, and entrusted for its enforcement to the Directorate, w.e.f. 01.07.2005.

4. Carved in the role of a multi-dimensional Organisation, the Directorate enforces two laws; FEMA, a Civil Law having quasi judicial powers, for investigating suspected contraventions of the Exchange Control Laws and Regulations with the powers to impose penalties on those adjudged guilty and PMLA, a Criminal Law, whereby the Officers are empowered to conduct enquiries to locate, provisionally attach/confiscate assets derived from acts of Schedules Offences besides arresting and prosecuting the Money Launderers.