Opposition parties including Congress, CPI, CPI(M) and TMC alleged that the move was intended to misuse the investigative agencies.

Congress, CPI, CPIM and TMC vow to take up CBI, ED ordinances issue in upcoming Parliament sessionFile Photo/PTI
news Law Monday, November 15, 2021 - 21:11

Opposition parties on Monday, November 15, vowed to counter the government's move of extending the tenures to the CBI and ED chiefs in Parliament, alleging it was bypassing the House, distorting the Constitution and resorting to “Ordinance Raj” to "misuse" the agencies. Trinamool Congress has given two notices in Rajya Sabha for statutory resolutions opposing the two ordinances promulgated on Sunday, which state that after the fixed two-year term of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) or Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief ends, the Union government may extend the tenure by a year for three consecutive years.

Introducing the ordinances just two weeks ahead of the Parliament session is an attempt at sabotaging and skirting the institution of Parliament, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi alleged.

The opposition parties also accused the government of trying to bypass the Supreme Court's direction that any extension of tenure has to be for a short period and only in rare and exceptional circumstances to facilitate an ongoing investigation. Trinamool Congress MP Derek O' Brien said the opposition parties will do all it takes to stop India from "turning into an elected autocracy.”

The BJP government was sidestepping Parliament and violating the Supreme Court's orders only to "misuse" the investigative agencies for protecting itself and its friends while targeting the opposition, Singhvi alleged at a press conference.

Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, however, hit back at the Congress for its criticism, saying those who do such "negative and destructive politics" only harm themselves.

The Left parties also demanded that the ordinances be rescinded immediately. “It is reprehensible that these ordinances have been promulgated on the eve of the winter session of parliament that is to commence from November 29. The BJP's regular resort to the route of ordinance raj is anti-democratic,” the CPIM said on Monday. The party further alleged that both the CBI and ED have been functioning as the political arm of the ruling party to advance its agenda.

“Leaders of opposition parties are regularly targeted. This step is meant to further subvert the autonomy of these agencies and to make the key officers more pliable. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that these ordinances be rescinded. CPI(M) MPs will oppose the move to convert these ordinances into law in parliament,” it said in a statement.

The CPI too said that it was contemplating moving statutory resolutions against the ordinances.

“On a polluted Sunday, the government has embarked on ordinance route to protect their caged parrots. Disapproval motion will be moved in Parliament against this ordinance raj. Distorting constitution Modi is in a hurry to make India a banana republic," CPI MP Binoy Viswam tweeted. 

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