The Enforcement Directorate maintains no records on the number of cases it registers against MPs and MLAs, the Central government told the Lok Sabha on Monday during the Winter Session of Parliament.

“[The] ED takes up the cases for investigation based on credible evidence/material and does not distinguish cases based on political affiliations or status of the accused,” Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written reply to a question by Trinamool Congress MP Mala Roy.

The Trinamool Congress leader had sought state-wise data on the number of MPs and MLAs against whom cases have been registered by the Enforcement Directorate in the last five years.

Notably, on December 7, the Centre had provided data on the cases registered against legislators in the last five years by the Central Bureau of Investigation. In response to a question, also posed by Roy, Union minister Jitendra Singh had told the Lok Sabha that between 2017 and 2021, the CBI had booked 56 MPs and MLAs.

Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of such cases at 10, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Kerala that have six each.

Also read: How the Modi government has weaponised the ED to go after India’s Opposition

Significantly, the Centre’s response about lack of data on cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate against MPs and MLAs came on a day when Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh accused the central agency of targeting Opposition leaders.

At the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Singh claimed that the Enforcement Directorate has conducted raids on nearly 3,000 Opposition leaders since the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party came to power at the Centre in 2014, The Hindu reported. He also claimed that only in 23 such cases, conviction has been done, resulting in a conviction rate of merely 0.5%.

However, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, who was chairing the Rajya Sabha session interjected Singh’s speech, saying that members will not be allowed make such statements without substantiating the facts.

In the Monsoon Session of Parliament earlier this year, the Centre had told Lok Sabha that the Enforcement Directorate has convicted only 23 persons in 5,422 cases registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act since the law came into force 17 years ago.

In the last 10 years, the highest number of cases – 1,180 – were filed under the law during the financial year 2021-’21.