A day after the Central government passed an ordinance to extend the tenure of directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) from the present two, to up to five years, Congress leader Manish Tewari on Monday suggested that political parties should approach the Supreme Court against the two ‘illegal’ ordinances.
“This ordinance is a message to the officers that if we (Centre) have appointed you, and if you keep working as per our orders, keep harassing the Opposition, your tenure will be increased year after year. All parties should jointly approach the Supreme Court on this,” Tewari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Tewari further said that the ordinances were ‘illegal’ as these were in violation of the top court's verdict from the Jain Hawala case of the 1990s. “These contradict the Supreme Court's Jain Hawala Case verdict in which it announced CBI, ED directors' tenure at two years so that the government at the Centre does not force the two agencies into any wrongdoings, he added.
This ordinance is illegal, it contradicts Supreme Court's 1998 Jain Havala case verdict in which it annpunced CBI, ED director's tenure as 2 years so that the govt at Centre didn't force the two agencies into any wrongdoing: Manish Tiwari, Congress pic.twitter.com/hOczFUV58C— ANI (@ANI) November 15, 2021
Vineet Narain, the petitioner in the Jain Hawala case, on which the apex court delivered its verdict on December 18, 1997, has already expressed disappointment with the central government's move to extend the duration of the term of the chiefs of the two federal agencies.
At present, the CBI, which functions under the Ministry of Personnel, is headed by Subodh Jaiswal, who was appointed to the post on May 25 this year. The ED, on the other hand, functions under the Finance Ministry, and is headed by Sanjay Kumar Mishra. He took over on November 19, 2018; however, last November, Mishra's term was extended by 1 year.
The opposition is already against the ordinances with leaders, across party lines, questioning the government over extension to the incumbent CBI and ED chiefs.
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