NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the power of the Centre to extend the tenure of director of Enforcement Directorate beyond the period of two years but made it clear that extension of tenure granted to officers who have attained the age of superannuation should be done only in rare and exceptional cases.
In a relief to ED director Sanjay Kumar Mishra whose extension of one year beyond his retirement age was challenged, a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai refused to quash the government’s decision to extend his tenure saying his tenure is coming to an end in November but directed that no further extension be granted to him.
“We should make it clear that extension of tenure granted to officers who have attained the age of superannuation should be done only in rare and exceptional cases. Reasonable period of extension can be granted to facilitate the completion of ongoing probes only after reasons are recorded by committee constituted under Section 25 (a) of the CVC Act,” the bench said.
“Any extension of tenure granted to persons holding the post of director of Enforcement after attaining the age of superannuation should be for a short period. We don’t intend to interfere with the extension of tenure of the second respondent (Mishra) in the instant case for the reason that his tenure is ending in November.We make it clear that no further extension shall be granted to him,” it said.
Enumerating Section 25 (d) of CVC Act, the bench said tenure of ED director can be beyond two years as the provision says the tenure should be minimum two years. Mishra was appointed ED director for two years in November 2018. In November 2020, his term was replaced by three years. Justifying the decision, the government said that the tenure was extended as many cases on money laundering were at a crucial stage and change of guard could hamper the probe and prosecution.





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