The central government has extended the tenures of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) chiefs to up to five years from the existing two years, via two ordinances.
Both ordinances have been signed off by President Ram Nath Kovind, a report in NDTV said, adding that according to the ordinances, the chiefs of the two agencies can be given extensions every year for up to three years after they complete their two-year term.
“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 reasons to be recorded in writing, be extended up to one year at a time. 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,” an official statement said.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice LN Rao recently gave a judgment in the case linked to the extension of ED Director SK Mishra, underlining that extension of tenure “should be done only in rare and exceptional cases”. His two-year tenure will expire on November 17.
The opposition parties have frequently accused the Narendra Modi-led Union government of misusing central agencies amid probes targeting top leaders and former ministers.