Congress’ appeal to stakeholders: Resist govt’s ordinances to give directors of CBI and ED yearly extensions

The Congress has urged all stakeholders to resist the Centre’s ordinances to give directors of CBI and ED yearly extensions up to five years. It dubbed the move as a violation of a Supreme Court order, an attempt to bypass Parliament and to ‘keep officers on a leash’.

There are indications that some legal experts and activists would examine the option of challenging the validity of the ordinance in court, even as many opposition parties are set to oppose the ordinances in Parliament. CPI MP Binoy Vishwam said his party planned a ‘disapproval motion’ against the ordinances. However, political circles are of the opinion that the Centre would have undertaken a numerical reinforcement exercise and won the support of manageable sections of regional parties to fire-fence itself on the floor of the Rajya Sabha in particular.

AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said “piecemeal yearly extensions” to CBI and EC chiefs is also “an attempt to substitute servility and subordination to political masters in place of independence (of officers) and to substitute subjectivity in place of objectivity and the object is to look for self-security” by the ruling establishment. Rajya Sabha LoP Mallikarjun Kharge tweeted, “83 ordinances in last 7 years! 2 more were promulgated just 14 days before Parliament session began. What is the basis for extending the tenure of ED/CBI directors to 5 years? Vested interests of BJP have become more important than the Constitution. It’s a mockery of our democracy.”

Singhvi asked what the public interest was in bringing ordinances 15 days before Parliament. “This is nothing but personal interest, political interest, self-interest and reflects fear and therefore fear begets fear,” he alleged. “Have you not insulted, ignored, jettisoned and decimated a Supreme Court order, which just a few weeks ago said ‘don’t extend’ beyond the date of the incumbent,” he asked.

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