Centre moves Supreme Court, seeking extension of Sanjay Mishra


The Centre on Wednesday moved an application before the Supreme Court seeking extension of tenure of the ED Director Sanjay Mishra, when his term is set to end on July 31 in accordance with a recent SC judgement.
A bench headed by Justice B.R. Gavai agreed to hear the Centre’s application on Thursday (July 27) after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Union government, mentioned the matter for urgent listing. “There is some prayer we are making which will have to persuade Your Lordships,” said S.G. Mehta while requesting the court to hear Centre’s miscellaneous application before Friday.
The bench posted the matter for hearing on tomorrow i.e Thursday at 3:30 p.m. In a judgement rendered on July 11, the Supreme Court dubbed the extension of ED chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra as “illegal” for violating the mandate of the top court’s judgement 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.
The court had held that the extension granted to Mishra was contrary to an earlier 2021 judgement rendered by a division bench of the Supreme Court in this regard.
Mishra was first appointed as the ED Director for a two-year term in November 2018. His term expired in November 2020. In May 2020, he had reached the retirement age of 60. However, on November 13, 2020, the Central government issued an office order stating that the President had modified the 2018 order to the effect that a time of ‘two years’ was changed to a period of ‘three years’. This was challenged before the Supreme Court by the NGO Common Cause.
The Supreme Court in a September 2021 verdict approved the modification, but ruled against granting more extensions to Mishra. After the court’s decision in 2021, the Central government brought in an ordinance amending the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act, giving itself the power to extend the tenure of the ED Director by up to five years.
A law was passed by Parliament in this regard allowing extensions to the tenure of the ED Director for one year at a time, subject to a maximum of five years. “Challenge to CVC Act and Delhi Special Police Establishment Act is dismissed to that extent. Extension granted to Sanjay Kumar Mishra after Supreme Court verdict is illegal. However, he is permitted to hold office till July 31, 2023,” the Court ordered on July 11.