The Congress on Sunday hit out at the central government for promulgating ordinances through which the tenure of directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) can now be extended to a maximum of five years. The opposition party said the government has used both the agencies as its ‘hunchmen’ (operatives) who are now being honoured.
The tenure of directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) can be up to a maximum of five years from the current two years. The government on Sunday issued two ordinances in this regard.
At present, CBI and ED directors have a fixed tenure of two years from the date of their appointment in view of the Supreme Court’s directions in the famous case of Vineet Narayan.
On the development, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the Modi government uses ED-CBI as a “hunchman” to “grab rights and destabilize the elected governments”.
He said that ED and CBI raids on leaders of opposition parties have become a daily thing.
Surjewala tweeted, “Now these henchmen are being honored with a tenure of five years for using malicious prosecution to suppress voices of protest.”
He wrote in another tweet, ‘The correct explanation of ED-CBI in Modi government is: ED – Election Department. CBI- Compromised Bureau of Investigation.
The Congress spokesperson said, ‘Naturally, retired officers were being given extension repeatedly earlier. Now the tenure of five years has been made straight.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari tweeted, “Both the ordinances issued by the NDA-BJP government are against the spirit of the Jain Hawala judgment, which gave permanent tenure to CBI and ED directors so that they remain free from political interference.”
In another tweet, he said, ‘First question: Why was the tenure increased from two to five years? Are there no competent officers left in the country? Question 2: The NDA-BJP government is trying to destroy the little remaining institutional sanctity of these two institutions by tempting the people holding these sensitive posts for annual extension. The message is clear that oust the opposition and get extension of service.
Tiwari said, “Parliament session is likely to begin from November 29. So what is the hurry to bring these ordinances.
Senior party leader and spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also reacted and tweeted, ‘Ordinance Raj, the preferred path of Modi Sarkar. Ignoring the process of parliamentary examination 14 days before the commencement of the Parliament session.
The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance has been promulgated just three days before the retirement of SK Mishra, a 1984 batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer and current Enforcement Directorate chief.
The government had given him another extension in 2020 after the completion of his two-year term. The matter was heard in the Supreme Court this year which did not quash the extension, but asked the government not to grant Mishra any further extension after November 17.
However, officials said after the promulgation of the ordinance, it remains to be seen whether Mishra will continue to serve as the ED chief.