The petition filed by Congress leader Jaya Thakur challenges the third extension granted to Mishra by the Centre last month. Thakur has alleged that the extension given to Mishra is in violation of the top court’s orders.
It might be mentioned that a clutch of petitions challenging the previous extension given to Mishra and the two ordinances promulgated last November increasing the tenures of Directors of CBI and ED are hanging fire in the Supreme Court. On November 18, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had recused himself from hearing a batch of petitions challenging the extension of tenure granted to Mishra.
There are as many as eight PILS, including filed by politicians Randeep Singh Surjewala and Mahua Moitra, challenging the extension granted to Mishra. The top Court in September had also appointed senior advocate K V Viswanathan as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist it in dealing with the pleas.
On November 17, the Centre had extended the tenure of Mishra by another year till November 18, 2023.
This is the third extension given to Mishra as Director ED. The central government, in its response, in September had called the pleas challenging the extension of tenure to Mishra as “politically motivated” since the petitioners belong to political parties whose leaders are currently under the scanner of ED.
The finance ministry had informed the top court in an affidavit that a freshly appointed person may take time to take stock and acclimatise to the working of the new organisation.”Extension in the term of the director of ED beyond two years and up to a maximum of five years was necessitated from the administrative standpoint wherein continuity of the head of the organisation is required for several cases which are at a crucial juncture and require historical knowledge and background for supervision of such cases…continuity of officers at the helm of the agency is required for proper and expeditious disposal of cases,” the ministry said in an affidavit filed in September.