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Extension of tenures for CBI, ED directors

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    23rd Nov, 2021


The Government of India has brought two ordinances to extend the tenure of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) directors up to 5 years. 


The Current Tenure

  • Currently, the director of CBI and ED has been appointed for two-year tenure in office by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act, 2003.
  • While they cannot be removed (with some exceptions) before their tenure ends, an extension can be given by the government.
  • Before 1997, the tenure of the CBI directors was not fixed and they could be removed by the government in any manner.
  • However, the Supreme Court in the Vineet Narain judgment fixed tenure of a minimum of two years for the CBI director to allow the officer to work with independence.

Current method of appointment

  • CBI Chief
  • The procedure for the appointment of the CBI chief is laid down in the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946.
  • Section 4A of the Act says that any director of a special police force or establishment, including the CBI chief, is to be appointed by the central government, which has to go by the recommendation in that regard of a committee comprising the Prime Minister as its chairperson, along with the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha or the leader of the single-largest Opposition party in the Lower House along with the Chief Justice of India or any judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him.
  • ED Chief
  • The appointment of the ED chief is governed by the Central Vigilance Commission Act of 2003.
  • Article 25 of the Act lays down that the Centre shall appoint the ED Director on the recommendation of a panel that will have the Central Vigilance Commissioner as its chairperson and includes vigilance commissioners as its members along with the Union home secretary, the secretary of the central Ministry of Personnel, and the revenue secretary.

Key-highlights of the changes

  • Amendments in DSPE Act: The change in tenure of the CBI Director was done by amending the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • Amendments in CVC Act: The change to the tenure of the ED Director was brought in by amending the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003.

Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI)

  • The CBI is the premier investigating agency in India. CBI was formed through a resolution of the Government of India in 1963.
    • CBI is not a statutory body and derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi, India
  • Mandate: to investigate several economic crimes, special crimes, cases of corruption, and other cases.
    • To investigate cases of cheating and embezzlement and social crime, particularly of hoarding, black-marketing, and profiteering in essential commodities, having all-India and inter-state ramifications.
  • Parent Ministry: Initially it was under the ministry of home affairs and later transferred to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
    • Presently, it works as an attached office of the Ministry of Personnel.
    • CBI works under the supervision of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in matters about the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Enforcement Directorate

  • Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  • On 1st May 1956, an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
    • In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.
  • ED enforces the following laws:
    • Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999 (FEMA)
    • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)

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