- A proposal for creating a centralised pool of documentary evidence for expeditious sharing of actionable information on economic offences between various Central investigating agencies is pending consideration with the government.
About the central pool of documentary evidence
- As proposed, documentary proof gathered by the respective agencies would be stored at one place and its certified copies made available for the purposes of investigations and use as evidence in the court of law.
- Such an arrangement would require relevant amendments to the legislation governing each agency in terms of evidence collection.
- It would require use of data analytics for extracting relevant information.
- It will help in sharing of evidence
Need of centralized pool of documentary evidence
- The recommendation has been made to overcome the existing procedural and legal hurdles in sharing of evidence between the probe agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate, the Income-Tax Department and the Special Fraud Investigation Office.
- Such a mechanism could prove to be fruitful as agencies had been usually cagey in sharing evidence for various reasons.
- There should be a robust and transparent system of sharing information and it should have necessary backup of the law.
About central probe agencies
- Central Bureau of Investigation:
- Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is a government agency that serves as a Criminal investigation body, national security agency and intelligence agency.
- But it must be made clear in no uncertain terms that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is neither an intelligence gathering agency nor a security organization.
- It is an investigative agency assigned legally the job of exposing rather than concealing.
- The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was established in 1963.
- Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was formed with one of the most impressive motto i.e. ―Industry, Impartiality, Integrity.
- Enforcement Directorate:
- Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, which enforces the following laws:
- Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999 (FEMA) – A Civil Law, with officers empowered to conduct investigations into suspected contraventions of the Foreign Exchange Laws and Regulations, adjudicate, contraventions, and impose penalties on those adjudged to have contravened the law.
- Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) – A Criminal Law, with the officers empowered to conduct investigations to trace assets derived out of the proceeds of crime, to provisionally attach/ confiscate the same, and to arrest and prosecute the offenders found to be involved in Money Laundering.
- Special Fraud Investigation Office:
- The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is a fraud investigating agency in India.
- It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.
- The SFIO is involved in major fraud probes and is the co-ordinating agency with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation.
- It is a multi-disciplinary organization having experts from financial sector, capital market, accountancy, forensic audit, taxation, law, information technology, company law, customs and investigation.