Rahul Navin appointed in-charge director of Enforcement Directorate as Sanjay Kumar Mishra's tenure ends

Sep 15, 2023 11:24 PM IST

The Centre appointed special director Rahul Navin as in-charge director of the ED till the name of the regular director is announced or until further orders.

The Centre on Friday appointed special director Rahul Navin as in-charge director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) till the name of the regular director is announced or until further orders, according to an official order.

Enforcement Directorate special director Rahul Navin.
Enforcement Directorate special director Rahul Navin.

Rahul Navin, a 1993-batch IRS officer, has taken charge as the acting director of the ED replacing Sanjay Kumar Mishra, an IRS officer of the 1984 batch.

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With his appointment, Navin becomes the most senior officer within the central probe agency. Navin has also served as the chief vigilance officer of the ED headquarters.

The order stated that the President "is pleased to order the cessation of tenure of Sanjay Kumar Director of Enforcement in the Enforcement Directorate on 15.09.2023."

SC granted extension of tenure to ED chief

In July, the Supreme Court granted an extension of tenure to ED chief Mishra till September 15 but made it clear there would be no further extension.

The apex court order came days after it had held as “illegal” two notifications by the Centre granting the extension of service, for one year each time, Mishra as the chief of the Enforcement Directorate.

During the hearing, the top court questioned the Centre for seeking an extension for the officer and asked if the entire department was "full of incompetent people" except for its incumbent chief.

"Are we not giving a picture that there is no other competent person and the entire department is full of incompetent people? Is it not demoralising for the department that it cannot function if this person is not there" the bench had told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The top law officer argued the continuity in the ED leadership was necessary in view of the peer review by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global anti-money laundering and terror financing watchdog, whose rating matters. Mehta said Mishra was "not indispensable" but his presence was necessary for the entire exercise.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for one of the petitioners who had earlier challenged the extension granted to Mishra, opposed the Centre's application and termed it "deplorable" that a review of the July 11 verdict of the apex court was being sought in the garb of an application for extension of his tenure.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause also opposed the Centre's application and said they're trying to mislead the court as if ED is the main agency for the FATF review.

Sanjay Kumar Mishra's extensions

Mishra was first appointed the ED director for two years on November 19, 2018. Later, by an order dated November 13, 2020, the central government modified the appointment letter retrospectively and his two-year term was changed to three years.

The government had also promulgated an ordinance last year under which the tenure of the ED and CBI chiefs could be extended by up to three years after the mandated term of two years.

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