‘Parties should challenge in Supreme Court’: Manish Tewari on Centre's ordinances on CBI, ED chiefs

On Sunday, the central government brought two ordinances to extend the term of directors of the two federal agencies for up to five years. At present, they can serve for two years.
Manish Tewari (File Photo/HT)
Manish Tewari (File Photo/HT)
Published on Nov 15, 2021 03:20 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Congress leader Manish Tewari suggested on Monday that political parties should approach the Supreme Court against the two ‘illegal’ ordinances introduced by the Centre to extend the tenure of directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) from the present two, to up to five years. “This ordinance is a message to the officers that if we (Centre) have appointed you, and if you keep working as per our orders, keep harassing the Opposition, your tenure will be increased year after year. All parties should jointly approach the Supreme Court on this,” Tewari said, according to news agency ANI.

Also Read | Centre brings ordinance to extend the tenure of CBI, ED chiefs up to 5 years

The ordinances, he said, were ‘illegal’ as these were in violation of the top court's verdict from the Jain Hawala case of the 1990s. “These contradict the Supreme Court's Jain Hawala Case verdict in which it announced CBI, ED directors' tenure at two years so that the government at the Centre does not force the two agencies into any wrongdoings,” Tewari said.

Vineet Narain, the petitioner in the said case, on which the apex court delivered its verdict on December 18, 1997, has already expressed disappointment with the central government's move to extend the duration of the term of the chiefs of the two federal agencies.

Also Read | Petitioner in case that led to min 2yr term for CBI chief upset over new ordinances

The Union government, on Sunday, brought the ordinances to extend the term of the CBI and ED directors. At present, the CBI, which functions under the Ministry of Personnel, is headed by Subodh Jaiswal, who was appointed to the post on May 25 this year. The ED, on the other hand, comes under under the Finance Ministry, and is headed by Sanjay Kumar Mishra. He took over on November 19, 2018; however, last November, Mishra's term was extended by 1 year.

Also Read | CBI and ED appointments that triggered controversies

The opposition is already up in arms against the ordinances with leaders, across party lines, questioning the government over extension to the incumbent CBI and ED chiefs.

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