A day after promulgating two ordinances that would allow the Centre to extend the tenures of the Directors of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate from two years to up to five years, the Personnel Ministry issued an order to amend the Fundamental Rules, 1922 adding the two posts to the list whose services can be extended by up to two years beyond the two-year fixed tenure in “public interest”.
The previous list comprised Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Director, Intelligence Bureau and Secretary, Research and Analysis Wing. Though Director, CBI, was also mentioned in the previous order, the Monday notification adds the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (25 of 1946) under which the investigation agency’s head is appointed.
The notification amended fifth proviso of Clause (d) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, 1922 . It 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 there under, under which their appointments are made.”
The Centre had retrospectively extended the tenure of Sanjay Kumar Mishra as the Director of the ED in 2020. The Finance Ministry said a November 19, 2018 order through which Mr. Mishra, a 1984-batch Indian Revenue Service official, was appointed has been modified with approval from the President and it would now be read for three years. He is to retire on November 17.
The NGO Common Cause, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, had challenged the retrospective extension in the Supreme Court. The SC on September 8 said Mr. Mishra should not be given any further extension. An SC ruling in 2017 had fixed two-year tenure for Director, ED.
On August 12, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) gave a one-year extension to Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, beyond his two-year fixed tenure that was to end on August 22. On May 28, one-year extension in service was granted to Intelligence Bureau Director Arvinda Kumar and R&AW Secretary Samant Kumar Goel. Their two-year fixed term would have ended on June 30.