In a significant development, the Narendra Modi government issued two ordinances to extend the tenures of the directors of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to up to five years from their date of initial appointment.
President Ram Nath Kovind approved the ordinances on Sunday. The government is expected to present legislation on the matter in the coming Winter session of Parliament.
Previously, the heads of both agencies had a tenure of two years.
The ordinances states that the directors can be given extensions of one year each after completion of two years in the post, for a maximum tenure of five years.
Interestingly, the notifications come just before Enforcement Directorate director S.K. Mishra is due to retire on November 17. In September, the Supreme Court had ruled that Mishra cannot be given a further extension. He had been appointed in 2018.
CBI director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal was appointed to his post in May 2021 for a two-year period.
The ordinances have already attracted criticism. Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan tweeted the move was “shocking & malafide” and termed it an “attempt to further subvert the independence of the CBI & ED”.