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Longer term, better impact- Extension of CBI and ED tenure

Extension of CBI and ED tenure- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Indian Constitution- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government.

Longer term, better impact- Extension of CBI and ED tenure_40.1

 

Extension of CBI and ED tenure- Context

  • Recently, the Central government took a decision through an ordinance to give a five-year tenure to heads of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
  • This extension of CBI and ED tenure has drawn criticism from different sections of people.
  • Supreme court earlier in 1999 directed government to provide a security pf tenure of two years to directors of CBI.

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Extension of CBI and ED tenure- Associated issues

  • Misuse of CBI and ED: They are already alleged to be misused by the government and this extension of tenure has further caused the same concerns among many.
  • Periodic Approval of the Government: The rule about three annual extensions can be misused by a tendentious government. It may be construed as a reward for ‘good behaviour’.
    • At the end of the mandatory two-year tenure, the government will have to issue orders granting one-year extensions at a time.
    • It would have been better if there was a straight five-year term for the Director.
  • Jurisdiction in States: many state governments have withdrawn consent for the CBI to function in that State. This causes trouble with CBI investigation and effective functioning.
    • Eight States- West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram- have withdrawn the general consent.
    • The Court termed this a “serious issue”.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)- About, Composition, Appointment and Jurisdiction

 

Extension of CBI and ED tenure- Way Forward

  • Ensuring Stability of tenure: Cases involving the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ED often require time to reach to a conclusion.
    • In this context, the extension of tenure helps in ensuring continuity of CBI director leading to timely resolution of investigation and judgment.
  • Learning from Global examples: The Federal Bureau of Investigation chief in the U.S. gets a 10-year term.
    • A two-year tenure for a CBI head is too short for any officer to make an impact on the organisation.
  • Autonomy to launch an investigation in states: The CBI should be made to derive its authority for launching investigations from its own statute instead of depending on the Criminal Procedure Code, which makes the CBI a police organisation.
    • Apt analogies are the Income Tax Act and the Customs Act, which enable the officers to act on their own, without being at the mercy of state governments.

Enforcement Directorate (ED)

 

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)- About, Composition, Appointment and Jurisdiction

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