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Bills seeking to extend tenures of ED, CBI chiefs introduced in Lok Sabha

Central Bureau of Investigation HQ, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The government introduced two Bills in the Lok Sabha on Friday that seek to extend the tenures of the directors of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) up to a maximum of five years, amid protests from Opposition members, who said that the Bills were against the Supreme Court observations on the matter, and were being brought in to harass Opposition leaders from such agencies.

Minister of State for Personnel and Training Dr. Jitendra Singh introduced The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to replace ordinances that had been brought in the recess period.

Congress’s Shashi Tharoor raised objections to the two Bills, stating that it completely disregarded the Supreme Court’s observations that were clear in the view that extentions of tenure to superannuated officials should only be done in rare cases. The government’s move was mala fide.

Alleged harassment

Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy opposed the move, contending that both the ED and CBI were used by the government to harass Opposition leaders.

Congress members K. Suresh, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and RSP member N.K. Premachandran also opposed the introduction of the Bills. They said piecemeal extensions would lead to officers’ loyalty to the government.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, however, said the Bills were being brought in, as earlier laws only fixed a minimum limit on the tenures of the Directors of the CBI and the ED. “The earlier laws never put any limit on the tenures, we are limiting it to five years,” he noted.

The ordinances were necessitated as Parliament remained disrupted. Should the government stop working if the House didn’t work, he asked.

The CBI and ED chiefs enjoy a fixed tenure of two years from the date of their appointment in the wake of the directives of the Supreme Court in the famous Vineet Narain case. The ED Director is appointed by the government on the recommendation of a committee chaired by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and members comprising Vigilance Commissioners, the Home Secretary, Secretary DoPT and the Revenue Secretary. The CBI Director is selected on the basis of the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief of Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 12:26:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bills-seeking-to-extend-tenures-of-ed-cbi-chiefs-introduced-in-lok-sabha/article37823459.ece

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