The union government has brought an ordinance to extend the tenure of directors of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for up to 5 years.
The present tenure for the chiefs of both the investigating agencies is of two years. While they cannot be removed before their tenure ends, an extension can be given by the government.
According to the amendment, the first appointment of a CBI or ED director will be for two years, but if needed, the tenure can be extended for three more more years. However, every extension has to be for a period of one year and, with a new order, the next extension could be made.
After five years, no extension can be granted to the ED or CBI chief.
The Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003, has been amended through this ordinance.
“Provided that the period for which the Director of Enforcement holds the office on his initial appointment may, in public interest, on the recommendation of the Committee under clause(a) and for the reason to be recorded in writing, be extended up to one year at a time,” the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 said.
“Provided further that no such extension shall be granted after the completion of a period of five years in total including the period mentioned in the initial appointment,” the ordinance said.
The second ordinance ‘The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021’ has a similar amendment and comes into force at once.
In May this year, CISF chief and 1985-batch IPS officer Subodh Jaiswal was appointed as the CBI director.
Jaiswal, along with KR Chandra and VS Kaumudi, was short-listed out of 109 officers for the top post by the high-powered committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, the ED is headed by 1984-batch IRS officer Sanjay Kumar Mishra, whose tenure was extended by a year in November 2020 after modifying his appointment order that was issued in 2018.
Before 1997, the government had the provision to remove the CBI directors in any manner as their tenure was not fixed. It was only after the Vineet Narain judgment in which the Supreme Court fixed a tenure of a minimum of two years for the CBI director to allow the officer to work with independence.