SC adjourns hearing plea against decision to extend ED director's tenure

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on the petitions challenging the Centre decision dated November 17, 2022, whereby the govt has extended the 3rd tenure of director of Enforcement Directorate

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Supreme Court (Photo: Wikipedia)

Supreme Court (Photo: Wikipedia)

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The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing on the petitions challenging the Centre decision dated November 17, 2022, whereby the government has extended the third tenure of the director of Enforcement Directorate SK Mishra.

A bench of justices BR Gavai, Vikram Nath and Sanjay Karol adjourned the matter for further hearing on May 3. The adjournment was given by the court on the request made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

In the last hearing, Amicus Curiae KV Vishwanathan had raised an objection on the extension of the tenure of the director of the Enforcement Directorate and submitted before the Supreme Court that the Committee failed to consider the availability and suitability of other officers before taking a decision on extension of tenure of the director of Enforcement Directorate.

Amicus has said that the office order dated November 17, 2021, does not satisfy the touchstone of 'public interest' and hence it may be set aside.

On the other side, the Centre in its affidavit had defended its decision to extend the tenure of the Enforcement Directorate director and said that petition challenging it is motivated and urged the top court to dismiss the plea.

The Centre government submission came on an affidavit which was filed countering the submission of the petition challenging the extension of the ED director.

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Centre had informed the SC that the petition is clearly motivated by an oblique personal interest rather than any public interest litigations.

The Centre had also said that the petition is a misuse of Article 32 of the Constitution, which is clearly being filed in a representative capacity for and on behalf of the President and the office bearers of the Indian National Congress, who are being investigated by ED and are otherwise fully competent to approach respective courts for appropriate statutory relief and remedy under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Centre had said the petition has been filed for espousing the cause of her political masters when there is nothing barring the concerned persons who are under investigation from approaching the competent court for any appropriate relief.

Centre had submitted that the present Writ Petition, styled as a Public Interest Litigation, is clearly motivated and is admittedly intended to scuttle the legitimate statutory investigation being carried out by the Directorate of Enforcement against certain politically exposed persons.

Centre had said that the real motive of the petition is to question the investigation being carried out against the President and certain office bearers of the Indian National Congress Party

One of the petitions was filed by the General Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee Jaya Thakur through advocate Varun Thakur and advocate Shashank Ratnoo.

The petitioner Jaya Thakur has said the extension has been granted despite the matter being subjudice and initial adverse order against the respondent ED Director SK Mishra in another petition filed by activist Dr Jaya Thakur in the Supreme Court of India.

The petitioner has challenged the Centre decision dated November 17, 2022, whereby the govt has extended the third tenure of the director of Enforcement Directorate SK Mishra. Earlier the petitioner also challenged the extension order dated November 17, 2021.

The petitioner said that democracy is a part of the basic structure of our Constitution and rule of law and free and fair elections are basic features of democracy. "The respondents destroyed the basic structure of democracy by misusing the enforcement agencies against the political opponent. The Supreme Court in a number of the cases held that appointment in Enforcement Agencies must be fair and transparent manners if their appointment will be done in biased nature, then they can be used as tools," the petition said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 20 2023 | 3:48 PM IST

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