The Supreme Court has granted an extension to Sanjay Kumar Mishra, the Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), until September 15, citing “national interest.” This decision follows the Centre’s plea for an extension until October 15, stressing that Mishra’s absence during the ongoing FATF review could adversely impact India’s national interests.
The apex court had previously declared the repeated extensions given to Mishra as “illegal.”
The Centre emphasized Mishra’s crucial role in preparing vital documents and meeting requirements for mutual evaluation since the beginning of 2020. Given the critical stage of the process and the ongoing FATF peer review, the government stressed the necessity of Mishra’s continued involvement in this important and delicate task.
The FATF, a global body leading the fight against money laundering and terror financing, is currently conducting its review.
Earlier, a bench comprising Justices BR Gavai, Vikram Nath, and Sanjay Karol had ruled that Mishra’s tenure would end on July 31, considering the FATF’s peer review and ensuring a smooth transition.
During the hearing, the Supreme Court questioned the Centre’s request for an extension and inquired about the competence of the entire department apart from the incumbent chief.
In view of the significance of the ongoing FATF review and to safeguard India’s national interests, Mishra’s tenure has been extended until September 15.