The Centre on Sunday introduced two ordinances to extend the tenures of the directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to up to five years, PTI reported. Earlier, the central agency chiefs were appointed for two-year terms.
The notifications issued by the Union law ministry said that the tenure can be extended by one year at a time after the first two-year-period has been completed.
The ordinances came three days ahead of current Enforcement Directorate chief SK Mishra’s retirement, reported PTI. Last year, the Centre had extended his tenure by one year after the completion of his two-year term.
In September, the Supreme Court had upheld extension of Mishra’s tenure. The court refused to interfere with the extension as Mishra’s tenure was going to end in November. However, the court had held that “no further extension shall be granted to” him beyond November, reported The Indian Express.
The ordinances have been signed by President Ram Nath Kovind and are effective “at once”.
In the past, Opposition parties have criticised the Centre for misusing central agencies to target their leaders.
On Sunday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary said that the ordinances were promulgated to avoid the scrutiny of Parliament, which is scheduled to begin its Winter Session from November 29.
“This desperate hurry smacks of something fishy,” he tweeted.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said that the Bharatiya Janata Party mocks the Parliament by brining in ordinances.
“Same stunt repeated today to keep their pet parrots in ED and CBI,” he tweeted.