Govt tweaks Fundamental Rules, clears path to extend tenure of ED, CBI chiefs
The Centre on Monday amended the Fundamental Rules to bring the rulebook in line with the two ordinances promulgated on Sunday to give the chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) an extended term of up to five years.
The Fundamental Rules, an overarching set of rules, apply to all civilian government servants.
Monday’s amendment to the rules was necessitated in view of the two ordinances signed off by President Ram Nath Kovind. The ordinances say that the CBI and ED directors can now get an extension of up to three more years beyond their fixed tenure of two years, one year at a time.
Monday’s order, signed by department of personnel and training joint secretary Satyajit Mishra, said: “Provided also that the Central Government may, if it considers necessary in public interest so to do, give extension in service to the Defence Secretary, Home Secretary, Director of Intelligence Bureau, Secretary of Research and Analysis Wing and Director of Central Bureau of Investigation appointed under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (25 of 1946) and Director of Enforcement in the Directorate of Enforcement appointed under the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 (45 of 2003) in the Central Government for such period or periods as it may deem proper on a case-to-case basis for reasons to be recorded in writing, subject to the condition that the total term of such Secretaries or Directors, as the case may be, who are given such extension in service under this rule, does not exceed two years or the period provided in the respective Act or rules made thereunder, under which their appointments are made.”
Under the existing provision of the Fundamental Rules first introduced in 2005, Union home secretary and defence secretary, and chiefs of CBI, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), are entitled to a maximum tenure of two years beyond their retirement age. For cabinet secretary, the upper age limit was set at 64 years.
In December 2010, the special provision enabling grant of the extension beyond the retirement age was extended to the foreign secretary also. An official statement issued on December 1, 2010 said, “This is in view of the assignment of Foreign Secretary having increasingly acquired critical dimensions from the national security and strategic perspective, and the need to ensure continuity and swiftness in the decision-making process.”
Monday’s notification, however, did not mention the foreign secretary.