Sanjay Mishra Extension Of Tenure: Arguing on behalf of the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that Sanjay Mishra is “not indispensable” but his presence is necessary for the entire peer review exercise.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on the Centre for seeking an extension in the tenure of Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra till October 15, and asked if the entire department is “full of incompetent people” except the incumbent chief.
“Are we not giving a picture that there is no other person and the entire department is full of incompetent people?” a bench headed by Justice B R Gavai told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
The top law officer argued before the bench, also comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Sanjay Karol, that the continuity of the ED leadership is necessary in view of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) peer review whose rating matters.
Mehta said Sanjay Mishra is “not indispensable” but his presence is necessary for the entire peer review exercise.
Representing the ED, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju said, “Some neighbouring countries want India to fall into FATF’s ‘grey list’ and therefore, the ED chief’s continuity is necessary”.
The hearing on the Centre’s application seeking the continuance of Mishra’s tenure till October 15 is underway.
The top court had on July 11 held as “illegal” two successive one-year extensions granted to Mishra and said the Centre’s orders were in the “breach” of its mandamus in the 2021 verdict that the IRS officer should not be given further term.
It had also curtailed Mishra’s extended tenure to July 31 from November.