NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief Karnal Singh, who was due to retire in August this year, was today given a fixed tenure of two years following a Supreme Court directive to set right the anomaly and to make it compliant with the CVC Act. Singh, a 1984 batch IPS officer of Union Territories cadre, was in October last appointed as ED Director till his superannuation.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved two-year fixed tenure for him and it will be effective from October 27, 2016, onwards, as per a fresh official order.
The move comes following a recent direction by the Supreme Court to the government to issue a fresh notification within a week on the appointment of Singh as ED Director for two years in consonance with the provision of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act.
While hearing a Public Interest Litigation in this regard, the apex court had recently said the fresh order would make it clear that Singh's appointment as ED chief would be for two years from October 27.
The Supreme Court had noted that as per the appointment letter issued to Singh, he will cease to hold office the day he superannuates in August 2017 which was violative of section 25(d) of the CVC Act which provides for a fixed tenure for the Director of Enforcement Directorate at not less than two years.
The PIL, filed last year by Mumbai-based former IRS officer Uday Babu Khalwadekar, has sought quashing of the "ad-hoc" appointment and subsequent extensions granted by the Centre to Singh as head of premier anti-money laundering investigation agency in alleged violation of the law.
Singh held the additional charge of the post of ED chief since August 2015 till the time he was elevated as the Director. The agency has a mandate to enforce two of the most stringent laws in the country--Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)--to check black money and hawala transactions.