new Delhi: All India Trinamool Congress national spokesperson Saket Gokhale has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court against the extension of the tenure of Enforcement Directorate chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra. Gokhale has termed the extension as a violation of section 25 of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 and contempt of court order, which directed that no extension be granted.

Gokhale argued that Mishra had failed to upload his immovable and movable property returns within the time limit, for which Gokhale had also complained to the Central Vigilance Commission. The deadline was November 30, 2021, and documents were uploaded on December 3, 2021. “Repeated extensions such as in the present case open the authorities to political influences and leave the institution vulnerable, especially given that the officer has been granted an extension. Violation of several OMs and circulars of DoPT, CVC and CBDT,” read the petition.

“It is astonishing that the said officer has been given extension of tenure after his retirement, that too for the second time, in such an important post in spite of his guilt. Such a decision of the government also lowers the public’s confidence in the post. As the integrity of the whole organization which is headed by the person holding the position. This decision of the government is bound to create a perception that such an important and sensitive post is open to political influences… and the selection of the office is not guided by considering the relevant factors,” the petition added.

Back in September 2021, when the court was considering the matter of extension of the tenure of the ED director, the court had said that Mishra’s tenure cannot be extended.