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    ED director’s tenure extended by Supreme Court until September 15th

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    The Supreme Court in New Delhi heard arguments regarding the extension of Enforcement Directorate (ED) director Sanjay Kumar Mishra’s tenure. The Centre requested an extension until October 15, but the court extended it until September 15, citing the country’s interest.

    During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that all petitioners were notified about the request. Justice B.R. Gavai questioned whether this implied that other officers were incompetent and only Mishra was capable of handling the work.

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    In response, Mehta clarified that it was a leadership issue and Mishra had been involved in this case for nearly 5 years. The rating India receives will greatly benefit the country and positively impact institutions like the World Bank. Justice Gavai mentioned that they had given time for a change in leadership within the agency.

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    Mehta further explained that many countries are on the gray list, with Pakistan being in a similar situation until recently. The judge asked about India’s current rating, to which Mehta replied that it is good but needs improvement. Additional Solicitor General Raju added that many countries are trying to lower India’s rating.

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    Abhishek Manu Singhvi expressed concern over burdening one individual with the responsibility for the entire country. He suggested extending Mishra’s tenure until 2024 for the FATF review. Singhvi argued that the law seemed tailored for one person, and efforts were being made to keep him in the position.

    Advocate Prashant Bhushan pointed out that the Supreme Court had issued an order on July 11th, and the central government waited until the last moment to make this request. He suggested making Mishra a special advisor if he was deemed so important, as he believed the application was an abuse of the legal process.

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