Centre tables Bill to amend CVC and Delhi Police Special Acts in Lok Sabha: Key features of the proposed legislations

The Bills replacing ordinances, seek to extend the tenure of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate director up to five years

FP Staff December 03, 2021 15:21:54 IST
Centre tables Bill to amend CVC and Delhi Police Special Acts in Lok Sabha: Key features of the proposed legislations

Representational image. AFP

Amid the chaos over the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh introduced a bill to further amend the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003. He also tabled the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha.

As these bills are introduced, take a closer look at what the proposed legislation means.

Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021

This legislation is being brought in to amend the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003. On 14 November, 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.

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.

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra had approached the Supreme Court challenging the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance.

Her petition said, “Executive cannot nullify a judgment of this Court through an executive act, like an Ordinance….The CVC (Amendment) thus suffers from legislative incompetence.” She further stated, “A one-year period cannot be termed as a short extension in view of the fact that the total tenure of both CBI and ED Directors is contemplated as two years in law.”

Noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan tweeted out against the ordinances.

Similarly, the Communist Party of India-Marxist's Sitaram Yechury also tweeted his dissent saying that there was 'something fishy'.

The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has been introduced to replace the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 which was promulgated on 14 November.

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 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 Congress criticised the decision as Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi tweeted, “Double whammy regarding 5 yr tenures for misused agency heads. Ordinance Raj, the favourite route of the Modi govt, bypasses Parliament scrutiny 14 days before Parliament meets. Extensions per se frowned upon by apex court. Fresh new appointments not extensions under new Parliament Act not Ordinance should have been done,” Singhvi wrote.

With inputs from agencies

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