CBI, ED directors can now have tenure of up to 5 years; Government issued two ordinances

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New Delhi, 14 November

According to two ordinances brought by the government on Sunday, the tenure of directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) can extend to a maximum of five years from the current two years.

The directors of CBI and ED enjoy a fixed tenure of two years from the date of their appointment in view of the Supreme Court’s directions in the famous Vineet Narayan case.

The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 1984-batch IRS officer, comes barely three days before the retirement of Enforcement Directorate chief SK Mishra.

The government had given him an extension of one year in 2020 after the completion of his fixed two-year term.

The matter was heard by the Supreme Court this year, which did not quash the extension, but asked the government not to grant Mishra any further extension beyond November 17.

However, with the promulgation of the ordinance, it remains to be seen whether Mishra will continue as the ED chief, officials said.

Ordinance promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind that comes into force “at once”: “Provided that the period for which the Director of Enforcement holds office on his initial appointment may, in the public interest, be on the recommendation of the Committee under clause (a) and may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, be extended by one year at a time: “Provided that such extension shall not be granted after the completion of a period of five years in the aggregate , including the period mentioned. Initial appointment,” it states.

The ED Director is appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of a committee headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner consisting of Vigilance Commissioner, Home Secretary, Secretary DoPT and Revenue Secretary.

The government has also brought in the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 which is also effective “once-in-law”.

The Ordinance inserts a provision in the DSPE Act that “Provided that the period for which the director holds office on his initial appointment shall, in the public interest, on the recommendation of the committee under sub-section (1) of section 4A and in writing may be extended by one year at a time: “Provided that no such extension shall be granted after the completion of a period of five years in aggregate including the period mentioned in the initial appointment,” it states.

The Director CBI is selected on the basis of the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition.

The two-year fixed period was aimed at ensuring the chiefs of CBI and ED work free from government interference without worrying about any adverse action for the investigation conducted by them. PTI