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PM’s Favourite Officer Gets Another Year-Long Extension In Enforcement Directorate

Who is the Prime Minister’s most favourite officer? Well, after getting yet another year-long extension on November 17, Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra will now have a longer term than the senior most bureaucrat in the country, the cabinet secretary. Mishra, an Indian Revenue Service officer, will now enter his fifth year as the ED director while the maximum term that any cabinet secretary has had so far is four years. Mishra was appointed the ED chief in 2018 and the latest order says he will continue in his chair till November 18, 2023. A number of sensitive and high-profile probes, especially against various opposition leaders, are being led by the ED presently and the move is hence expected to attract swipes from the opposition parties. The government had last year brought in an ordinance to enable itself to give a five-year term to the ED and CBI chiefs, up from two years. The government had argued before the Supreme Court, where the move was challenged, that the tenure of the ED chief had been earlier extended “in public interest” as various cases being probed by the agency were at a crucial juncture and continuity of officers means proper and expeditious disposal of cases. The ED is investigating cases against Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, TMC leaders in West Bengal, AAP minister Satyendar Jain, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and Congress leaders including Gandhi family.