The Centre is scheduled to move two Bills in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to extend the tenures of directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) up to a maximum of five years from the present two years.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh will move the 'Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021' and the 'Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021' in the Upper House in the second half of the day for consideration and passage.
The two bills were passed by Lok Sabha on December 9 separately by voice vote after the House rejected various amendments moved by Opposition members on these. These bills seek to replace two ordinances issued last month.
Several political, as well as social activists, opposed the move, which they termed as an attempt to subvert the independence of the two key probe agencies, alleging that it would completely undermine the autonomy of these institutions. The ruling party BJP defended the step as being necessary to fight large scale corruption.
The 'Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021' seeks amendment in the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. The Bill also replaces the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 which was promulgated on November 14.
The ordinance inserts the provision in the DSPE Act that "Provided that the period for which the Director holds the office on his initial appointment may, in the public interest, on the recommendation of the Committee under sub-section (1) of section 4A and for the reasons to be recorded in writing, be extended up to one year at a time: "Provided further that no such extension shall be granted after the completion of a period of five years in total including the period mentioned in the initial appointment," it states.
In simple words, the ordinance seeks to extend the tenure of the CBI chief to a maximum of five years from the present two years.
The 'Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021' is being brought in to amend the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003. On November 14, the Centre had moved an ordinance on the same, which President Ram Nath Kovind had assented to. Through this proposed legislation, the Centre seeks to extend the tenure of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) director to five years.
Currently, the chief of ED is appointed for a period extending up to two years.