New Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): Amicus Curiae KV Vishwanathan on Thursday submitted before the Supreme Court that the Committee failed to consider the availability and suitability of other officers before taking a decision on the extension of tenure of the director of Enforcement Directorate.
Amicus Curiae Vishwanathan apprised the top court that in the present issue, the Committee failed to consider the availability and suitability of other officers before taking a decision on the extension of tenure of Respondent No.2 (ED Director) and Section 25(b) of the CVC Act, 2003 states that the Committee while making a recommendation for appointment of Director of Enforcement "shall take into consideration the integrity and experience of the officers eligible for appointment".
Amicus said that the office order dated November 17 2021 does not satisfy the touchstone of 'public interest' and hence it may be set aside.
Amicus submitted that in the Common Cause case (2021) the top Court has categorically held that any extension of tenure granted to persons holding the post of Director of Enforcement after attaining the age of superannuation should be for a short period. Thus, the extension of tenure for a period of one year cannot be said to be legal and valid, amicus said.
Amicus told the court that the office order dated November 17 2021, the Impugned Acts and the Fundamental (Amendment) Rules, 2021 are liable to be struck down since they do not comport with the legal principles deducible from a long line of judgments.
He further submitted that since the impugned Acts and the Fundamental (Amendment) Rules, 2021 do not comport with the yardstick prescribed by the top Court with regard to the period for which extension should be granted, and since the crucial factors such as 'rare and exceptional case', 'merit' and 'short' period have been substituted by a vague concept of "public interest", the Impugned Acts and the Fundamental (Amendment) Rules, 2021 may be struck down by the Apex Court.
Amicus made these submissions before a three-judge bench headed by justice BR Gavai and also comprising justice Vikram Nath and Sanjay Karol.
The court was hearing various petitions challenging the extensions of the tenure of the ED Director.
Senior Advocate Anup G Chaudhary, appearing for the petitioner Jaya Thakur, said that extension cannot be granted like this, especially when this court has specifically said no extension.
The centre in its affidavit filed earlier 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.
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. (ANI)