The President has modified the 2018 appointment order of IRS officer S K Mishra to ensure that he gets another year as the director of Enforcement Directorate (ED) until November 2020.
Mishra’s two-year fixed term as ED director was to end on November 18.
The modified appointment order of Mishra, 60, stated: “The President of India is pleased to approve the modification in the earlier order dated November 19, 2018, appointing Shri Sanjay Kumar Mishra as director of enforcement in the Enforcement Directorate.”
It said that his appointment will be for a period of three years instead of two, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
The modification of Mishra’s appointment order was done on the basis of Solicitor General’s legal opinion, as the CVC Act is silent on the issue of extension for the post of ED director, sources said.
This is the first that an ED director will serve a three-year term instead of two years.
The appointment of director at the ED is governed by Section 25 of CVC Act, 2003. As per the law, no person below the rank of Additional Secretary to the government is eligible for appointment as the director, and the person appointed has a fixed term of not less than two years.
The CVC committee met on November 12 to recommend the modification to Mishra’s appointment.
Sources said the government’s decision to modify Mishra’s 2018 appointment order, instead of issuing an extension or reappointment order, will help it avoid legal challenge. Mishra turned 60 on May 20, the retirement age for government officials.
The government was also considering the ordinance route for amending the CVC Act but did not opt for it because it could have led to problems in Parliament later, sources said.
As the ED director, Mishra has been overseeing a number of sensitive cases, including Augusta Westland, Sterling Biotech, case of Congress leader and former Karnataka minister D K Shivakumar, Yes Bank, and the case of Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar.
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