SC issues notice on plea against third extension to ED Director SK Mishra

12 December, 2022 | Pragati Singh

mumbai National

The SC on Monday sought the Centre's answer to a petition challenging the Director of Enforcement Directorate's third extension of term.

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s answer to a petition challenging the Director of Enforcement Directorate’s third extension of term, claiming that it is undermining the country’s democratic process.

The petition was submitted by Jaya Thakur, General Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee, through advocates Varun Thakur and Shashank Ratnoo. On the plea, a bench of justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath issued a notice to the Centre and others.

The petitioner claims that the extension was granted despite the fact that the matter is still pending and that an adverse order has been issued against the respondent ED Director SK Mishra in another petition filed by activist Dr Jaya Thakur before the Supreme Court of India.

The petitioner has challenged the Centre’s decision dated November 17, 2022, by which the government extended the director of the Enforcement Directorate, SK Mishra, for a third term.

According to the petitioner, democracy is a fundamental aspect of our Constitution, as are the rule of law and free and fair elections.

“The respondents destroying the basis structure of democracy by misusing the enforcement agencies against the political opponent. The Supreme Court in the number of the cases held that appointment in Enforcement Agencies must be fair and transparent manners, if their appointment will be done in bias nature, then they can be used as tools,” the petition said.

The petition also said that there is no power conferred on the Union of India to extend the tenure of the Director of Enforcement and the Union of India cannot take refuge under the plea that important investigations are pending for which reason the tenure of the Director of Enforcement can be extended.

The plea also said there are several competent officers who are eligible for consideration of appointment to the post of Director of Enforcement and they should not be deprived of the opportunity to be appointed in accordance with the procedure prescribed under the CVC Act.

“Even assuming without conceding that the tenure of Respondent No.2 ( SK Mishra) can be extended, it cannot be for a period of one year when the original appointment was made for a period of two years. The nature of duties exercised by the Director of Enforcement would involve supervision of very important investigations. Under the guise of pendency of investigations into matters which have cross-border ramifications, the tenure of the Director of Enforcement cannot be extended periodically,” read the plea.