Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

SC upholds Extensions for CBI and ED Directors


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: ED, CBI

Mains level: Not Much

cbi ed

Central Idea

  • The Supreme Court has upheld statutory amendments that permit the extension of tenures for Directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
  • The court also directed the current ED Director, Sanjay Kumar Mishra, to resign four months before his third extension ends in November.

Amendments and Tenure Extensions

  • Tenure of CBI and ED chiefs: The CBI and ED directors traditionally have fixed tenures of two years.
  • Amendments enacted in 2021: Amendments were made to the Central Vigilance Commission Act, the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, and the Fundamental Rules. These amendments allow directors to receive a maximum of three annual extensions, expanding their tenure beyond the two-year limit.
  • Overcoming the court’s directive: The amendments were introduced shortly after the Supreme Court directed the government to cease granting extensions to Sanjay Kumar Mishra. These amendments provided a way for the government to grant Mishra two additional extensions.

Supreme Court’s Ruling

  • Ruling on back-to-back service extensions: The Supreme Court deemed the consecutive service extensions granted to Mishra in 2021 and 2022 as illegal.
  • Resignation deadline: The court ordered Mishra to resign by July 31, allowing for a smooth transition of responsibilities to his successor. Mishra has served as the ED Director for five years.
  • Disagreement with amicus curiae: The court disagreed with the submissions made by its own amicus curiae, who urged the court to strike down the amendments. The amicus curiae argued that the prospect of service extensions could influence the directors to work in accordance with the government’s desires, undermining the agencies’ independence.

High-Level Committees and Justification

  • Role of High-Level Committees: The amendments require High-Level Committees to recommend directors for service extensions.
  • Committee composition and recommendations: The committees consist of members such as the Central Vigilance Commissioner, Vigilance Commissioners, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, and Chief Justice of India, depending on the agency. These committees recommend whether an extension is warranted in the public interest.
  • Recording reasons for recommendations: The committees are obligated to provide written justifications for their recommendations.

Constitutionality of Amendments

  • Legislative authority: The court emphasized that the amendments were enacted by Parliament and should not be easily declared unconstitutional.
  • Role of elected representatives: The court stated that the amendments were passed by elected representatives who possess knowledge of the needs and interests of the people.
  • Judicial restraint: The court acknowledged that it should not question the wisdom of the elected representatives unless there is a clear violation of constitutional provisions.


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Enforcement Directorate (ED)
Mandate Investigates and solves major crimes in India Enforces economic and financial regulations
Jurisdiction Nationwide Nationwide
Legal Authority Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
Functional Focus Criminal investigations Economic and financial offenses
Investigative Powers Arrest, search, seizure, and interrogation Attachment, confiscation, and arrest
Collaboration Works closely with state police and agencies Coordinates with various agencies and banks
Reporting Authority Department of Personnel and Training, GOI Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance
Corruption Investigations Has an Anti-Corruption Division Has a separate Economic Offenses Division
Notable Cases 2G Spectrum Scam, Bofors Scandal, etc. Vijay Mallya extradition, PNB fraud case


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