Centre extends tenure of Enforcement Directorate chief SK Mishra by a year
Centre on Sunday brought out two ordinances that empowered it to extend the tenures of chiefs of the ED and the CBI by up to three years after the mandated term of two years
The Central government on Wednesday extended the tenure of ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra by a year till November 18, 2022, days after the Centre brought ordinances to allow ED and CBI directors to occupy the office for up to five years.
The already extended tenure of Mishra, a 1984-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of the Income Tax Department cadre, was to end on Thursday.
The order issued by the department of revenue under the Union finance ministry said the "President of India is pleased to extend the tenure of Shri Sanjay Kumar Mishra, IRS (IT:84006) as Director of Enforcement for a period of one year beyond 18.11.2021, ie, upto 18.11.2022, or untill further orders, whichever is earlier."
Mishra, 61, was first appointed the ED director for a period of two years by an order on November 19, 2018. Later, by an order of November 13, 2020, the appointment letter was modified retrospectively by the Central government and his term of two years was replaced by three years.
This order of 2020 was challenged before the Supreme Court which allowed the government's move but the apex court said that no further extension in service can be given to Mishra.
A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao made it clear that extension of tenure of officers who have attained the age of superannuation should be done in rare and exceptional cases.
The court had also made it clear that no further extension can be given to Mishra.
The top court said that a reasonable period of extension can be granted to facilitate the completion of cases of ongoing investigations only after recording the reasons by the committee constituted under Section 25 of the Central Vigilance Commission Act.
The judgement, that came on September 8, was issued on a plea filed by NGO, Common Cause, which had challenged retrospective change in the 2018 appointment order of Mishra as director of the ED.
However, the Central government last Sunday brought out two ordinances that said that the tenure of the Directors of the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) can now be extended by up to three years after the mandated term of two years.
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, the ordinances said.
The ED functions under the Union Finance Ministry and it enforces the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act that was brought by the Modi government in 2018, and the civil sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)