Supreme Court Obstacle in extension of tenure of ED director Supreme Court seeks response from Center and CVC

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Supreme Court of India

Highlights

  • 8 petitions were filed regarding the matter
  • Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Jaya Thakur and Trinamool Congress leader Saket Gokhale also filed petitions.
  • Notices issued to defendants including ED director

Supreme Court: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Center and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the petitions challenging the extension of the tenure of the Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED). These petitions have challenged the amended law, under which extension of the term of directors has been allowed for up to five years.

Notice issued on 8 petitions

A bench of CJI NV Ramana, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli issued notices to the respondents, including the Centre, the CVC and the current ED director, on eight petitions. Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Jaya Thakur and Trinamool Congress leader Saket Gokhale have also filed petitions. Advocate ML Sharma had filed the first petition on this matter.

“Notice be issued to the central law agency. List the matter for 10 days,” the bench said. Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for Surjewala, referred to the Supreme Court judgments and said that fixed tenure is “a hallmark of freedom” and the fact that the office bearer can get an extension, the independence of office will be “collapsed”. During the hearing, the bench was informed about the procedure for appointment of ED director under CVC and FEMA laws.

Last year an ordinance was issued a few days before retirement.

Singhvi said unlike the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the committee that appoints the ED director consists of only executives. Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for one of the petitioners in the case, submitted that the present ED director is completing four years in the post this year, and a few days before his retirement on November 18 last year, an ordinance was issued, in which his The term was extended for one more year.

Challenge given to Central Vigilance Commission Act

Advocates Shashank Ratnu and Varun appeared for Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit leader Jaya Thakur, who has filed a separate PIL in the matter. Advocate ML Sharma, who has filed the petition in his personal capacity, submitted that the ordinance was passed in violation of the constitutional scheme. A total of eight petitions have been filed on the issue, most of them challenging the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Act-2021 which seeks to extend the tenure of the ED director by five years.

The Center had on November 17, 2021, extended the tenure of ED chief Sanjay Mishra till November 18, 2022, days after an ordinance was brought to allow ED and CBI directors to stay in office for five years.

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