SC extends ED Director’s tenure till Sept 15text_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to the Centre’s request to extend the tenure of the present Enforcement Directorate (ED) Director Sanjay Mishra, who was due to demit office on July 31 in accordance with a recent SC judgement.
“In ordinary circumstances, we would not have accepted such an application… taking into consideration larger public interest we permit the ED director to continue till September 15, 2023,” a special bench of Justices BR Gavai, Vikram Nath, and Sanjay Karol said in its order.
However, the bench also clarified that it will not entertain any further application by the Centre seeking extension of the tenure and Mishra will cease to hold the post from the midnight of September 15/16, 2023.
The Union government on Wednesday approached the top court to extend Mishra’s tenure up to October 15. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before the court that any change in leadership at the ED would adversely impact India’s national interests in view of the ongoing FATF Review which is at a critical stage.
“Circumstances are unusual. From November 3, FATF will visit India. This is a peer review of the past 5 years. This isn’t an annual exercise. Continuity will help the country,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to constitute a special bench to hear the Centre’s application on July 27 after Mehta sought an urgent listing of the matter.
In a judgement rendered on July 11, the Supreme Court dubbed the extension of ED chief Mishra as “illegal” for violating the mandate of the top court’s judgment in 2021.
However, the top court had allowed him to continue in the post till July 31 taking into consideration the concerns expressed by the Union government with regard to the FATF review and taking into consideration that the process of fresh appointment would take some time.
With inputs from IANS