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SC will hear on April 16 a plea against extending the mandate of the Director of ED retroactively | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would hear on April 16 the PIL challenging the retrospective change in the 2018 appointment order of Sanjay Kumar Mishra as Director of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) that resulted in the extension of his term two to three years.
A bench consisting of Judges L Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran took note of Attorney General Tushar Mehta’s presentation that the Center’s response was ready and will be presented.
In the process carried out through videoconference, the magistracy agreed to the request of the Prosecutor’s Office to grant some time and set the case for a hearing on April 16.
During the short hearing, Mehta apparently criticized activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for the NGO Common Cause.
“His majesty is being taken for granted by such public-spirited people,” the law enforcement officer said.
“Let them abuse me, but we will show how this association (NGO) presented cases that led to so many orders,” Bhushan said.
The bank has published the hearing case on Friday of next week.
On February 15, the higher court had requested responses from the Center, the Central Surveillance Commission (CVC) on the PIL.
Mishra, an official of the Indian Revenue Service, was appointed director of DE for two years by order of November 19, 2018. Later, by order of November 13, 2020, the appointment letter was amended ” retrospectively”. by the central government and his term of “two” years was replaced by “three” years.
Bhushan said that Mishra could not have been given any extensions since he turned 60 in May 2020 and that such an illegal extension could have a “destructive” impact. the independence of the position of Director.
In addition to seeking the annulment of the Office Order of November 13, 2020 by which Mishra’s appointment letter was amended, the NGO has also asked the Union Ministry of Finance for instructions to “ appoint a Director, Directorate of Execution in a transparent manner and strictly in accordance with the mandate of Section 25 of the Law of the Central Oversight Commission, 2003 ”.
The NGO had moved the high court just after the government decided to amend the 2018 order and grant Mishra the extension of service for one more year.
Referring to the CVC Act, the allegation stated that the statute provides that no person below the rank of Additional Secretary of the Government of India shall be eligible for appointment as Chief Compliance Officer and “the Chief Compliance Officer shall continue to hold office for a period of time. of no less than two years from the date on which he takes office ”.
â € œThe contested Office Order issued by Respondent No. 1 (Center) is found in the teeth of Section 25 of the CVC Law, since said section establishes that a person must be above the rank of Additional Secretary of the Government of India to be eligible to be appointed Chief Compliance Officer.
â € œTherefore, since Defendant No. 2 (Mishra) has already reached his retirement age in May 2020, therefore, after the end of the two-year period of Mishra on November 19, 2020, Respondent No. 2, by virtue of not occupying any position above the rank of Additional Secretary, would not have been eligible for appointment as Chief Compliance Officer again, â €? said the plea.
He alleged that the government used a tortuous route to ensure that Mishra gets one more year as Director of ED by retrospectively modifying the appointment order itself.
“Therefore, what could not have been done directly by virtue of the Statute, Defendant No. 1 has done indirectly at present,”? he said, adding that the action was against the principle stated by the Supreme Court in its rulings.
There is no enabling provision in the CVC Law for the extension of the service of the Director of the ED nor any enabling provision that provides for such a retrospective modification of the appointment orders, he said.
Transparency is an integral facet of Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution and in the decision-making process for the appointment of a person to the delicate position of Director of ED, according to the allegation.
“The deliberations and reasoning of the CVC Committee (referred to in Section 25 (a) of the CVC Act) in recommending that a person be appointed as Chief Compliance Officer, should be available in the public domain,” he said. .
The petition held that the ED handles a large number of cases involving grand corruption, many of which are politically sensitive in nature, and the agency director has powers similar to those of the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
He added that “such illegalities in the appointment of the Director of Execution will shake the confidence of citizens in the institution of the Directorate of Execution.”
“Such action will be totally against the laudable principles that emphasize the need for impeccable integrity of the people who occupy high public positions and the consequent need to isolate said positions from external influences, as enshrined by the Supreme Court …”, He said.

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