The Enforcement Directorate on Monday secured its first-ever conviction under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This act came into force back in 2005 and presently a Ranchi special court has sentenced former Jharkhand Minister Hari Narayan Rai to 7 years imprisonment in a corruption case.
The former minister has been fined a sum of 5 lakh, along with the attachment of his personal assets, which are currently worth 3 crore.
Last year, a CBI court in Ranchi had sentenced Mr. Rai for owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. His wife Sushila Devi and brother Sanjay Rai were convicted for abetment.
The State Vigilance Department had initially registered a case against Mr. Rai and filed a charge-sheet in 2008. He was later arrested under the same charges. The ED also launched a money laundering probe into the allegations of corruption and disproportionate assets. The CBI took over the probe in 2009 and filed another charge-sheet in 2012.
He has been accused of misappropriating public funds for personal benefit.
It is a commendable job on the Enforcement Directorate’s behalf to have made their first ever conviction under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. This is a clear example of the fact that India does not lack behind sufficient legislation but its implementation. The judgment in this case has definitely rattled arrogant politicians who feel they are above the law and can continue to fill their purses by misappropriating public funds.