New Delhi: Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra approached the Supreme Court against the Union government's ordinances to extend tenures of directors of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), NDTV reported.
Moitra argued that the ordinances were an attack on the impartiality of investigation agencies. They give the Union government "unfettered discretion to pick and choose those directors for the purposes of extension of tenure, who act in line with its preferences". It allows the government to effectively control an incumbent director by wielding its power to extend the director's tenure.
She further argued that the ordinances violate principles of fair investigation and fair trial enshrined in the Constitution, under Right to Equality and Right to Life. She challenged the ordinances' constitutional validity and argued that they contradict Supreme Court's September judgement. The SC had said in a September 8 judgment that the tenure of a Director of Enforcement could not be extended beyond his date of superannuation except in "rare and exceptional cases" for a "short period'. Moitra argued that the ordinances does not satisfy the criteria of "short period" or "rare cases" and added that the Union could not nullify an SC judgement by issuing an ordinance.
The chiefs of CBI and ED had a two-year tenure which could be extended up to five years through the ordinances, by giving three extensions of a year each after they complete their two-year term. When ED director Sanjay Kumar Mishra was to retire on Thursday, he was given a year's extension earlier on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress has moved statutory resolution notices in the Rajya Sabha, objecting to the ordinances. It questioned the government's hurry to take the ordinance route as Parliament's winter session is barely two weeks away. The opposition raised strong criticism against the ordinances and alleged that the Union is using the two probe agencies as "henchmen to usurp power and destabilize elected governments".