New Delhi, Jul 28 (PTI) The Supreme Court agreed to hear on Friday a plea challenging the amended law allowing extension of tenure of the director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) up to five years, and the Centre’s decision to grant one year extension to Sanjay Kumar Mishra as head of the probe agency.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana took note of the submission of senior lawyer Basava Prabhu Patil that the plea of Saket Gokhale, a leader of the All India Trinamool Congress, needed to be listed for an urgent hearing.
Besides Gokhale, the spokesperson of the TMC, others have also filed petitions challenging the tenure extension and the enabling amended law in this regard in the top court.
“We will list it for hearing tomorrow,” said the bench which also comprised justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli.
Earlier on July 13, Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jaya Thakur through a lawyer had sought the listing of the plea on the issue.
The pleas challenged the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Act 2021 which provides for extension of the term of ED’s director up to five years The Centre on November 17, 2021 had extended the tenure of Mishra by a year till November 18, 2022, days after the Centre brought ordinances to allow the ED and CBI directors to occupy the office up to five years.
Mishra is a 1984-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of the Income Tax(IT) Department cadre.
The apex court in its September 8 judgement on a petition of NGO ‘Common Cause’ had said that a reasonable period of extension can be granted to facilitate the completion of ongoing investigations only after reasons are recorded by the Committee constituted under Section 25 (a) of the CVC Act.
It had also made it clear that no further extension can be given to Mishra.
The court had further stated that an extension of tenure of director should be for a short period.
“We do not intend to interfere with the extension of tenure of the second respondent (Mishra) in the instant case for the reason that his tenure is coming to an end in November, 2021…
“We make it clear that no further extension shall be granted to the second respondent,” the bench had said. PTI SJK SJK DV DV
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