The Supreme Court has granted an extension to Sanjay Kumar Mishra, allowing him to continue as the director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) until September 15.
This extension replaces the previous deadline of July 31. The court made this decision in the interest of the public and the nation.
However, Mishra's tenure as ED chief will come to an end at midnight on September 15.
The Centre had approached the Supreme Court on Wednesday (July 26), requesting an extension of S K Mishra's tenure as ED chief until October 15. This request was made due to the ongoing Financial Action Task Force review.
The Centre explained that it was compelled to seek this extension because the FATF review is at a critical stage. Submissions on effectiveness were made on July 21, 2023, and an on-site visit is scheduled for November 2023.
In response to the Centre's application, the Supreme Court granted an extension to Sanjay Kumar Mishra, allowing him to remain as the director of the Enforcement Directorate until September 15.
The court said that it made this decision in the interest of the public and the nation.
During the hearing, the Apex Court raised concerns about the Centre's request for an extension and questioned if the entire department, apart from the current chief, consisted of incompetent individuals. The court expressed its view that this may create an impression that there is no other capable person within the department.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, received this feedback from the bench.
In a previous ruling on July 11, the Supreme Court deemed the two tenure extensions granted by the government to Mishra as invalid under the law. The court specified that Mishra could only continue in his position until July 31.
Last year, the Centre granted Mishra another one-year extension just a day before his scheduled retirement. This marked the third extension in Mishra's tenure as the chief of the Enforcement Directorate.
Initially, he was supposed to serve until November 18, 2023, resulting in a total tenure of five years.
Mishra initially became the ED Director on November 19, 2018, with a fixed term of two years. However, just before his tenure was set to expire, the President retroactively modified the previous order on November 13, 2020, extending Mishra's tenure to three years.
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