However, Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jaya Thakur had in July challenged the Centre’s decision to grant extension of tenure to Mishra. Thakur’s plea was mentioned on Wednesday before a bench of CJI DY Chandrachud, Hima Kohli and JB Pardiwala and the bench verbally said that it would take up the plea on November 18.
The Centre had alleged pleas challenging extension of tenure to Mishra were “politically motivated” since the petitioners belonged to political parties whose leaders were under ED’s scanner. The finance ministry had in September contended 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 finance ministry said in its affidavit.
The Supreme Court in its verdict in the Common Cause Case had said in 2021, “though we have upheld the power of the Union of India to extend the tenure of Director of Enforcement beyond the period of two years, we should make it clear that extension of tenure granted to officers who have attained the age of superannuation should be done only in rare and exceptional cases.”
On August 2, SC issued notices to the Centre on petitions challenging the tenure extension. It also appointed senior advocate KV Viswanathan as amicus curiae to assist it in the case. Eight PILs have challenged the extension granted to Mishra.