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Central Government Urges Supreme Court for Tenure Extension of ED Director, Defying Previous Rulings

Solicitor General Urgently Seeks Listing to Extend ED Director’s Tenure (Supreme Court)

Supreme Court to Hear Plea Tomorrow at 3.30 pm

New Delhi, 26 July (City Times): The Central government has made a bold move by approaching the Supreme Court, requesting an extension of the tenure of Sanjay Kumar Mishra, the current Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). This action comes despite a previous directive from the top court, instructing Mishra to step down from his position by July 31.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s Urgent Plea

On Wednesday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urgently mentioned the matter before a bench led by Justice BR Gavai, seeking an immediate listing of the case.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear the Plea

Responding to the urgency, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the government’s plea on Thursday at 3.30 pm.

Previous Ruling Against Tenure Extension

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, consisting of Justices BR Gavai, Vikram Nath, and Sanjay Karol, had earlier struck down the extension granted to Mishra in a ruling on July 11. The court held that this extension was in violation of its 2021 judgment.

The 2021 Judgment on Mishra’s Tenure

In the 2021 judgment, the Supreme Court had specifically directed that Sanjay Kumar Mishra could not be granted any extension beyond November 2021.

Challenging the Modification of Tenure

Mishra was initially appointed as the ED Director for a two-year term in November 2018, which expired in November 2020. In a surprising turn of events, on November 13, 2020, the Central government took a decisive step by issuing an office order that brought about significant changes to the 2018 order. It extended Mishra’s tenure from a period of ‘two years’ to ‘three years.’ This modification was challenged by the NGO Common Cause before the Supreme Court.

Legislature’s Amendment to the CVC Act

Following the 2021 ruling, the Central government introduced an ordinance amending the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act, granting itself the authority to extend the ED Director’s tenure by up to five years. Subsequently, the parliament passed a law allowing the government to grant extensions to the ED Director’s tenure for one year at a time, with a maximum limit of 5 years.

Recent Verdict and Implications

In the recent ruling on July 11, the Supreme Court upheld the amendments made by the legislature to the CVC Act, empowering the Central government to extend the tenure of the ED Director for up to 5 years. However, the court struck down the extension granted to Mishra, deeming it contradictory to the 2021 judgment. The government was directed to appoint a new director before July 31.

Awaiting the Supreme Court’s Decision

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear the Central government’s plea for extending Sanjay Kumar Mishra’s tenure, the nation awaits the outcome with keen interest. The decision holds significant implications for the enforcement agency’s leadership and the Central government’s ability to exercise its powers in such matters.

To Read news in Hindi.

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