The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate charges of money- laundering against Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, saying that the matter needed a thorough probe as it had “national ramifications.”

The court gave the direction while dismissing a petition filed by the former Samajwadi Party general secretary who had challenged an FIR lodged in Kanpur nearly two years ago accusing him of various financial irregularities when the party was in power in Uttar Pradesh.

“Money-laundering poses a serious threat to financial system integrity. It may emerge as a parallel economic system within a country controlled by a few. This may destabilise and perish a sound economy,” a Division Bench comprising Justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and S.S. Tiwari said.

“We are of the firm view that it is a pre-eminently fit case for exercise of extraordinary power and the matter needs a thorough probe by Special Cell as the matter has national ramifications,” they said. The court asked the ED to commence the investigation “within two weeks” and submit a status report before the court within a month of the commencement of the probe.

Mr. Singh had moved the court challenging an FIR lodged at the Babupurwa Police Station in Kanpur on October 15, 2009 by a local resident Shiv Kant Tripathi under various sections of the IPC, the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Money Laundering Act. Putting up a brave face, Mr. Singh said in New Delhi that he should be punished if found guilty as he was not above the law. — PTI