Shri Rajiv Gauba

Cabinet Secretary

Govt of India


Shri Rajiv Gauba,

I understand (https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/centre-brings-ordinance-to-extend-tenure-of-cbi-ed-chiefs-up-to-5-years-121111400884_1.html) that the government has issued an Ordinance extending the term of the Director of CBI and Director of Enforcement to five years.

If such a decision has been taken, in my view, it is an imprudent one.

Making the benefit of the extended term of the heads of CBI and ED applicable to the present incumbents would amount to an undue benefit that could compromise the autonomy of the two offices, which are expected to function in an independent and credible manner. In view of this, I would suggest that the benefit should be made applicable only to the future incumbents.

It is imprudent for the government to grant such a long tenure of five years for the head of either of these offices, as it will block the promotional opportunities for several aspiring competent junior officers. It is likely to bring down their morale.

Issuing such an ordinance without the Parliament having an opportunity to consider the two proposed laws negates the democratic principles on which our Parliamentary democracy is based. Considering that the winter session of the Parliament is hardly a few days ahead, it is strange that the government should choose to rush into issuing such an ordinance.

I hope that the government will ponder over this and take a decision that will inspire public trust and confidence in the offices of these two important investigating agencies.

E A S Sarma, Former Commissioner for Tribal Welfare in AP, Former Secretary to Government of India

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