Congress slams ordinances, says Modi govt sidestepping Parliament, violating SC orders to misuse agencies

"What is the public interest in doing so? There is only self-interest, BJP-interest and the government's interest," Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in a press conference

Rajya Sabha MP and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi (File photo)
Rajya Sabha MP and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi (File photo)
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PTI

The Congress on Monday targeted the BJP government over the ordinances that seek to increase the tenure of ED and CBI directors, and said the move undermines institutions and is meant for creating security for the ruling dispensation and its friends instead of the nation.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said at a press conference that by bringing these ordinances, the BJP government was sidestepping Parliament and violating the Supreme Court's orders only to "misuse" the investigative agencies for protecting themselves and their friends while targeting the opposition.

"The BJP is consistently and intentionally engaged in undermining and sabotaging the institutions and creating security for themselves and the establishment instead of security for the nation. The ordinances are another example in that direction," he told reporters.

"These ordinances take these institutions from discipline and upholding the rule of law to dutifulness to their political masters," he alleged.

The Congress leader said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) stands exposed not as an alliance of political parties "but as an alliance of the ED, the CBI and the Income Tax department".

"The attempt to introduce these ordinances just two weeks ahead of the Parliament session is an attempt at sabotaging, sidestepping, skirting the institution of Parliament," he said.

"What is the public interest in doing so. There is only self-interest, BJP-interest and the government's interest. The object is to look for self security and security of the establishment and not of the nation," he alleged.

Singhvi also alleged that the ordinances were in violation of the Supreme Court's directions and meant only to misuse the probe agencies.

"Why have these Ordinances been brought just 15 days before the Parliament session? Isn't this an attempt to bypass Parliament and continue the ignominious trend of Ordinance Raj established by this government since 2014," he asked.

He also wondered how these agencies would work objectively in case their chiefs are dependent on the mercy of the government as their tenures would be increased only if they please their political masters.

The Congress leader also asked if the Modi government is so certain of the public interest, then surely it will have no objection if these are scrutinised by a Standing Committee of Parliament.

The Winter session of Parliament starts from November 29.

The tenure of the Directors of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate can now be extended by up to three years after the mandated term of two years, according to two ordinances brought in by the government on Sunday.

In both cases, an extension of a year each for three years can be given to the Directors after clearance by the committees constituted for their appointments, according to the ordinances.

The Centre's move, which drew sharp criticism from the Opposition, comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court saying that extension of tenure of officers who have attained the age of superannuation should only be granted in rare and exceptional cases and for a short duration.

The apex court stated this in a matter related to the extension granted in 2020 to Enforcement Directorate chief S K Mishra, an 1984-batch IRS officer who is due to retire on November 17.

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