New Delhi: Vineet Narain, the petitioner who gained a landmark verdict from the Supreme Court in regards to the independence of the CBI and got fixed two-year tenure for its director in 1997, called for the apex court's intervention in the Centre's ordinance to extend the tenure of the CBI and ED chiefs.
Petitioner Vineet Narain had filed a petition in 1993 questioning the shackling of the agency. He said that the Supreme Court should evaluate the merit of the 1997 judgement and intervene in the matter of CBI and ED's autonomy, reported The Indian Express.
He added that the Centre is within its right to bring an ordinance on the subject, it should ideally have approached the Supreme Court before doing it. A discussion on the floor of Parliament is also needed. "Ideally the government should have allowed the Supreme Court and Parliament to revisit the matter."
Narain told The Indian Express that he has no problem with the fixed 5-year tenure but the extended tenures should be given to them as a one-time appointment. He added that the CBI and ED are sensitive organisations. There are allegations that the government is misusing them.
"Giving the directors piecemeal extensions of a few months or a year at a time will lead to blackmailing them. This will end the independence of the agencies. To keep the process transparent, the five-year tenure must be given in one go," said the petitioner. Some of the former CBI chiefs had similar opinions on the ordinances.
Former CBI director A P Singh had said that he welcomed the five-year term and observed that the FBI director has a 10-year tenure. He added that this will allow the director to pursue cases longer and take them to a logical conclusion.