Parliament: Bills to extend tenures of CBI, ED chiefs today
The Parliament will on Wednesday consider two controversial bills that seek to extend the tenures of the chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). Both the bills have faced fierce objection from the Opposition. Meanwhile, Opposition MPs have planned a sit-in protest against the suspension of 12 leaders from the ongoing Winter Session. Here are more details on this.
Why does it matter?
- The Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) central government enjoys a majority in the Lok Sabha meaning the bills will likely be passed in that House.
- Opposition has been protesting the bills calling them "undemocratic" and indicative of the government's "malafide intentions."
- Leaders also say the amendments have been brought in without due discussions in the Parliament - a long-held blame against the Centre.
Bills were introduced last week
Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh had last week introduced the two bills - Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill 2021 and The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill 2021. "The Bill states that the tenure of the director may be extended by up to one year at a time till the completion of five years from the initial appointment," he said in the Parliament.
What is the Opposition's take?
At the time of introduction, Opposition leaders from several parties had denounced the government's move. Reportedly, 24 Opposition MPs have already moved statutory resolutions on the bills. Earlier, Congress party leader Randeep Surjewala had approached the Supreme Court challenging the two bills. Shashi Tharoor of the same party contended the top court maintains that extensions should only be granted in rare cases.
What's happening in the Rajya Sabha?
Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha, Opposition leaders will hold a sit-in protest at the Gandhi statue against the suspension of 12 MPs. The members have been barred from the Winter Session for alleged unruly conduct during the previous Parliament session. Leaders say existing rules do not permit suspension of MPs for actions during a previous session.
Winter Session began on November 29
The 25-day-long Winter Session had begun on November 29, the day when the 12 MPs were suspended. The session has since remained marred by Opposition protests and consequent adjournments. The session is expected to conclude on December 23.