A lot is being talked about the two ordinances that the NDA Government under Narendra Modi promulgated in November, on the eve of the Winter Session of Parliament. Opposition parties have up the ante against Modi and his government, questioning the real intention of the ordinances that extended the tenures of the chiefs of CBI and the Enforcement Directorate for up to five years.
Passing an ordinance on the eve of a session only sends a wrong signal that the government has only dubious intentions and the Opposition can never be blamed in this context.
Moreover, the Centre promulgated the ordinances close on the heels of the Supreme Court saying that extension of tenure of officers who have attained the age of superannuation should only be granted in rare and exceptional cases and for a short duration. The Supreme Court had given the order with respect to the extension granted in 2020 to Enforcement Directorate chief SK Mishra. And thus, the ordinances goes against the spirit of the Supreme Court judgement.
The Opposition parties stated that the NDA should have waited for the coming parliament Session to introduce the bill rather than promulgate the ordinance. Most of the political parties criticised the Government of bringing in such an ordinance only to have their men at the helm of the important institutions. The Congress alleged that it took away the independence of these agencies. Addressing the media, Congress spokesperson and senior Supreme Court Advocate Abhishek Singhvi alleged that the ordinance would evolve a master-servant relationship and an official would be made to listen to his master’s voice. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the “desperate hurry smacks of something fishy”.
Modi and his NDA government has been for the last many years trying to bring under them all major institutions in the name of national interest. However, if one goes through the reformations the BJP led government brings, the opposition cannot be doubted if they allege political interest only and not any national interest behind all the moves.
As per the ordinance, the officials get extension every year for a five year period. This means that the officials become “daily wagers” and this could even destroy the morale of the security services. Moreover, the extension is subject to a review yearly. This means that an official who wants an extension would only be at the service of his bosses, which again destroys the morale of the agencies.
FOR OWN GAINS
Moreover, others criticise that the Government by giving an extension could make use of the CBI and the ED for its own activities. The fear of using these agencies for political gains cannot be questioned even if raised by the opposition parties. Moreover, the opposition leaders and political pundits cannot be blamed if they doubt the government of using these agencies against certain political personalities and even individuals. Moreover, the government would be able to run over its critics and manage well ahead before the next Lok Sabha elections once the top officials of two significant agencies are within their hold.
Once these officials are given extension and that too after an annual review process, they would have allegiance to the political masters rather than to the constitution.