Dr Jitendra introduces Bills amending CBI, ED chiefs’ tenure

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today introduced in the Lok Sabha two Legislative Bills amending the Tenure clause of Director CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and Director ED (Enforcement Directorate) by introducing a provision in the concerned Sections of the two Acts, namely The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act 1946 and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act 2003.
The DSPE Amendment introduced by the Minister seeks to amend Section 4(B) of the Act providing that the period for which the Director holds his office in his initial appointment on the recommendations of the Selection Committee may be extended upto one year at a time, provided that further no such extension shall be granted after completion of a period of five years in total including the period of initial appointment. Similarly, the Central Vigilance Commission Act introduced by the Minister seeks to amend Section 25 of the Act so as to provide similar provision for the Director of Enforcement Directorate.
After uproarious opposition to the introduction of the Bill by senior members including Adhir Ranjan Das Choudhary and Shashi Tharoor of Congress, Prof Subarto Roy of TMC and Prem Chandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party, Dr Jitendra Singh gave a brief reply to some of the points raised by the Opposition Leaders and said that he would be giving a detailed reply when the Bill comes up for consideration and discussion. Following this, the Minister requested Speaker Om Birla to allow introduction of the two Bills and when the Speaker asked for the sense of the House, two Bills were introduced with a voice vote.
Responding to some of the questions raised by the Opposition, Dr Jitendra Singh said, most of the conclusions have been drawn by the Opposition even without reading the Bills with their full content, which had led to misinterpretation by them of some of the clauses in question.
Dismissing the view of the Opposition that the Government had malfide intentions in trying to extend the term of CBI Director and Director of Enforcement Directorate beyond the laid down period of two years, the Minister clarified that if one reads the two Acts carefully, one would understand that the actual phrase in the Act is that the appointment of these officers will be made for a period of “not less than two years”, which is certainly not the upper limit of the tenure.
Hitting back hard at the Opposition’s charge that Ordinance of the Bills had been deliberately brought just a few days before the Parliament Session was to start, Dr Jitendra Singh cited from the recent experience and said, it has been seen that the Opposition does not allow the House to run for weeks together and the entire last session was washed out because of the continuous protest and din. Under such circumstances, he said, the Government cannot stop performing its duties and functions, and therefore, whenever necessary, Ordinance route was sought to be adopted because of the uncertainty about whether the opposition would allow the House to run smoothly or not.