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Context: The Government's decision to grant multiple extensions to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Director was declared invalid by the Supreme Court. The court said the present ED director should step down by July 31, four months before his third extension expires in November
Supreme Court Judgement
- The court also upheld the legal changes made in 2021 that allow the CBI and ED Directors to get up to three yearly extensions after their fixed two-year tenures.
- The legal amendments were introduced in 2021, soon after the Supreme Court had ordered the government to stop giving extensions to current ED directors. The amendments enabled the government to bypass the court's order and give two more extensions.
- The Court explained that the government did not grant extensions to the ED and CBI Directors arbitrarily. Rather, the 2021 amendments mandated that High-Level Committees should evaluate the officers and recommend them for service extensions.
- For the ED Director, a five-member panel consisting of the Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioners had the responsibility to recommend an extension in service.
- For the CBI Director, a High-Level Committee of the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and the Chief Justice of India.
- The court also said that the 2021 amendments were made by the Parliament. They could not be easily struck down as unconstitutional. It said that it could only declare a law unconstitutional if it was violating the constitutional provisions.
Enforcement Directorate (ED): https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/enforcement-directorate-32
Q. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is a primary organisation that investigates economic crimes and money laundering cases. However, it has been criticised for being selective, biased, and inefficient in its operation. How can the ED increase its credibility, accountability, and efficacy in dealing with sophisticated financial crimes?