The government has brought two ordinances to extend the tenures of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate chiefs to up to five years. The chiefs of the central agencies currently have a two-year tenure.
Both the ordinances have been signed off by President Ram Nath Kovind. The chiefs of the top agencies can be given extensions every year for up to three years after they complete the two-year term.
"...Whereas the parliament is not in session and the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action," the ordinances underscore.
The statements further underline that "...no such extension shall be granted after the completion of a period of five years in total including the period mentioned in the initial appointment."
A Supreme Court bench - headed by Justice LN Rao - recently gave a judgment in the case linked to the extension of Enforcement Directorate chief SK Mishra, who took charge in 2018, underlining the extension of tenure "should be done only in rare and exceptional cases".
The Government of India brings Ordinance to extend the tenure of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Directors up to 5 years. pic.twitter.com/r6NZ8cLyJS— ANI (@ANI) November 14, 2021
Today's development comes ahead of the completion of his tenure on November 17, which was extended by another year last year, in what was called as an "unprecedented move" by some critics.
The Enforcement Directorate, "a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance", investigates cases linked to Foreign Exchange Laws and Regulations and money laundering.
The opposition parties, in the past, have accused the government of misusing central investigation agencies amid probes targeting top leaders and former ministers.