ED Chief Tenure Extension: Not Concerned With Petitioner's Politics, Says SC

The top court is hearing petitions against the third extension granted to the ED Chief & the CVC Amendment Act 2021.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 22 March, said that it had nothing to do with the political allegiances of the petitioners who had challenged the Enforcement Directorate Director's third tenure extension and the 2021 amendment to the CVC Act which allowed this.

“We are not concerned with who belongs to Bharatiya Janata Party and who belongs to Congress", the top court observed. 

Where this comes from: Last month, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government, had told the court that the petitions have been filed by members of Congress and Trinamool Congress parties to protect their senior leaders who are facing money laundering cases.

The petition is "admittedly intended to scuttle the legitimate statutory investigation being carried out by the directorate of enforcement against certain politically exposed persons,” he had said.


Hearing adjourned: The bench of Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath also expressed displeasure over Mehta's absence from the hearing on Tuesday.

While adjourning the hearing to 23 March, the bench said:

“On the last day, we had clearly stated that this matter would start at the time specified. The Solicitor-General had assured that on no grounds would an account be made to adjourn the matter. Is it not his duty to be here then? This is not fair to the court.”

Is the extension illegal though? Meanwhile, the amicus curaie in the case KV Vishwanathan, told the bench that he too was not concerned with the "politics of the petitioners."

“My submissions will be purely on the law. I am not concerned with the politics of the petitioners or the individual cases. I would appeal to you to exclude that aspect from the argument as well because this is a legal issue."

Vishwanathan, who is assisting the court in the case, had submitted last month that the extensions granted to the ED Chief were illegal and went against the top court's previous judgments.

The Quint, in a previous piece, had explained in detail the judgments he had cited and what the case is all about. Read it here.

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