Supreme Court to hear plea on the validity of ordinance on CBI and ED directors' tenure PIL mentions the two ordinances are unconstitutional, arbitrary and ultra- vires' to the Constitution The Supreme Court has recently said that it would list for hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging the validity of two ordinances under which the tenure of the directors of the...
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Supreme Court to hear plea on the validity of ordinance on CBI and ED directors' tenure
PIL mentions the two ordinances are unconstitutional, arbitrary and ultra- vires' to the Constitution
The Supreme Court has recently said that it would list for hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging the validity of two ordinances under which the tenure of the directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) could now be extended by up to three years after the mandated term of two years.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana, Justice A S Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli, took note of the submissions in the PIL that was filed by an advocate in his personal capacity.
The advocate claimed that taking recourse of the powers under one of the ordinances, the tenure of the ED director, Sanjay Kumar Mishra was extended.
The PIL alleged that the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance are "unconstitutional, arbitrary and ultra-vires" to the Constitution and urged their quashing.
The advocate alleged that the Central government had misused its power under the Constitution, which dealt with the power of the President to promulgate ordinances during recess of the Parliament.
The PIL also claimed that the ordinances were aimed at circumventing the top court's directive in the verdict on a PIL that had challenged the retrospective change in the 2018 appointment order of Sanjay Kumar Mishra as ED director leading to the extension of his tenure.
"By giving the government the power to extend the tenure of the heads of the two agencies to a maximum of five years, from two years, currently, the two ordinances carry the potential of further chipping away the independence of these agencies," the PIL noted.
It suggested that in both cases, an extension of a year could be given to the directors after clearance by the committees constituted for their appointments, according to the ordinances.
The top court had earlier dismissed a plea challenging a retrospective change in the 2018 appointment order of Mishra, concluding that a reasonable period of extension could be granted to facilitate the completion of the ongoing investigations.
However, the court made it clear that the extension of tenure of officers who had attained the age of superannuation, should be done in rare and exceptional cases. It also ruled that no further extension could be given to Mishra as the ED director.