Outgoing ED Chief Mishra ‘Likely to Oversee ED, CBI as First CIO’
A photo of outgoing Enforcement Directorate chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra, used for representational purposes only. Image courtesy: PTI
Outgoing Enforcement Directorate (ED) director Sanjay Kumar Mishra will likely be appointed the Chief Investigation Officer of India (CIO), a new post being considered by the Centre to oversee the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
On the lines of the three service chiefs reporting to the Chief of Defence Staff and the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing to the National Security Adviser, the ED and CBI chiefs will report to the CIO, The New Indian Express reported.
According to sources, the post of CIO could be created before Mishra demits office on September 15. Though the ED will continue to function under the Department of Revenue of the Union Ministry of Finance and the CBI under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, their operational supervision would be transferred to the CIO.
The CIO, a post equivalent to the secretary to the Centre, will likely report to the Prime Minister’s Office, the sources said adding that the CIO will “end the overlap” in areas of investigation by the ED and the CBI and synergise the agencies.
The ED mainly handles financial fraud, including money laundering and FEMA violation, but the CBI too probes corruption cases and other economic offences.
Recently, the Supreme Court turned down the Centre’s plea for giving Mishra a third extension of one year and termed his two extensions illegal.
“Is there no other person in the organisation who can do his job? Can one person be so indispensable?” a Bench headed by Justice BR Gavai asked the Centre in May. The top court allowed Mishra to continue till September 15 in the “larger public and national interest”.
Senior SC lawyer Prashant Bhushan termed the move “dangerous and mala fide”. “Since Govt’s favourite ED Director is to retire soon, he is expected to be made CIO!” he tweeted.
"The Centre is considering creating a new post of Chief Investigation Officer of India (CIO) on the lines of CDS& the NSA.
As per discussions at the highest level, the chiefs of the CBI & the ED will report to the CIO"
Since Govt's favourite ED Director is to retire soon, he is…
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) August 23, 2023
During Mishra’s tenure, there was a sudden increase in cases against opposition politicians, according to The Wire—former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, Jharkhand chief minister (CM) Hemant Soren, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, Tamil Nadu minister Senthil Balaji and former TMC minister Partha Chatterjee among others.
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