SC allows Sanjay Kumar Mishra to continue as ED Director 

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The Supreme Court granted SK Mishra, the head of the Enforcement Directorate, an extension, allowing him to continue in his position over the original deadline of July 31 till September 15. The decision was made in response to the Center’s request for a deadline extension until October 15.

After the Centre argued about “unusual circumstances” and emphasised the need for continuity, the court which had previously deemed a second and third extension to be “illegal”receded slightly today.

The Centre further maintained that consistency in the position of the Enforcement Directorate chief is required since some of India’s neighbours want it to be placed on the FATF’s “grey list.”

Tushar Mehta, the Centre’s solicitor general, stated that in light of the upcoming examination by the FATF, the international organisation that monitors the financing of terrorism, the circumstances surrounding Mishra are special.

The intergovernmental organisation that also fights money laundering must conduct an on-site evaluation of India’s laws and oversight by November. The team will probably arrive on November 3.

“Are you saying all other officers are incompetent? Only one officer can do?” shot back the bench of Justices BR Gavai, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Sanjay Karol.

The court emphasised that the Centre has been given time until July 31 even though it had been determined that his extensions since 2021 were unconstitutional.

Senior attorney Abhishek Singhvi, who defended the petitioners, asserted that the FATF evaluation is a procedure comprising 40 elements when the Center persisted with its assertions.

Every time it has prolonged Mishra’s tenure, the Centre has invoked the peer review. In November 2018, the officer was granted command of the Enforcement Directorate and was scheduled to retire when he reached 60. He did, however, receive one extension in November 2020, and two more followed.

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