Builders only understand colour of money or jail term, says SC, holds firm guilty of contempt

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Observing that reasonable period of extension can be granted to facilitate completion of cases of ongoing investigations, the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea challenging retrospective change in the 2018 appointment order of Sanjay Kumar Mishra as director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Upholding the Centre’s decision, a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao, however, made it clear that extension of tenure of officers who have attained age of superannuation should be done in rare and exceptional cases.

The court made it clear that no further extension can be given to Mishra.

The top court said that a reasonable period of extension can be granted to facilitate the completion of cases of ongoing investigations only after recording reasons by the committee constituted under section 25 of the Central Vigilance Commission Act.

“Any extension of tenure granted to persons holding the post of director of ED after attaining age of superannuation should be for a short period. We do not wish to interfere with the post of second respondent in the instant case as the tenure is coming to end in November 2021. We make it clear that no further extension shall be granted to the second respondent,” the bench also comprising Justice B R Gavai, said.

The judgement came on a plea filed by NGO Common Cause challenging retrospective change in the 2018 appointment order of Mishra as director of the ED.

Mishra, an Indian Revenue Service officer was appointed as the ED director for a period of two years by an order of November 19, 2018 and later by an order of November 13, 2020, the appointment letter was modified retrospectively by the Central government and his term of two years was replaced by three years.