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Centre brings ordinance to extend tenure of CBI and ED chiefs up to five years

The central government is expected to table a law in the Parliament during the forthcoming Winter Session to replace the same.

Centre brings ordinance to extend tenure of CBI and ED chiefs up to five years
The central government is expected to table a law in the Parliament during the forthcoming Winter Session to replace the same.

The Centre on Sunday brought an ordinance to extend the tenure of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) directors up to five years. President Ram Nath Kovind has signed off the ordinance.

The central government is expected to table a law in the Parliament during the forthcoming Winter Session to replace the same. In the failure of a law being enacted, the ordinance would lapse in a period of six weeks.

Currently, the tenure of the chiefs of the central probe agencies is two years. While they can not be removed (with some exceptions) before their tenure ends, extension can be given by the government.

“Provided that the period for which the Director of Enforcement holds the office on his initial appointment may, in public interest, on the recommendation of the Committee under clause(a) and for the reason to be recorded in writing, be extended up to one year at a time,” the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 said.

“Provided further that no such extension shall be granted after the completion of a period of five years in total including the period mentioned in the initial appointment,” the ordinance said.

The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, which brings the change into effect, has been brought by the Centre days before the start of the Winter Session of Parliament.

The CBI, country’s apex investigative agency, is currently headed by 1985-batch IPS officer Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, who was appointed in May 2021 for a two-year period.

The ED is headed by IRS officer Sanjay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed to the post in November 2018. In November 2020, his tenure was extended by another year by the Centre.

Before 1997, the tenure of the CBI directors was not fixed and they could be removed by the government in any manner. However, the Supreme Court in the Vineet Narain judgment fixed a tenure of a minimum of two years for the CBI director to allow the officer to work with independence.

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First published on: 14-11-2021 at 15:52 IST