SC issues notice to Centre on plea against fresh extension to ED chief

SC issues notice to Centre on plea against fresh extension to ED chief
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New Delhi, Dec 12: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on a plea challenging the third extension granted to Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra.

A bench comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Vikram Nath said: “Issue notice returnable in six weeks.” The top court sought response from the Centre, the ED director, and the Central Vigilance Commission, on a plea filed by Congress leader Jaya Thakur.

The plea, filed through advocates Varun Thakur and Shashank Ratnoo, said that Mishra’s tenure extension is destroying the democratic process of the country, hence the present writ petition, which may be allowed in the interest of justice.

The plea said there are several competent officers who are eligible for consideration of appointment to the post of Director of Enforcement and they should not be deprived of the opportunity to be appointed in accordance with the procedure prescribed under the CVC Act.

“Even assuming without conceding that the tenure of Respondent No.2 (Mishra) can be extended, it cannot be for a period of one year when the original appointment was made for a period of two years. The nature of duties exercised by the Director of Enforcement would involve supervision of very important investigations. Under the guise of pendency of investigations into matters which have cross-border ramifications, the tenure of the Director of Enforcement cannot be extended periodically,” said the plea.

The plea contended that Centre is destroying the “basic structure” of democracy by misusing the enforcement agencies against its political opponents.

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