NEW DELHI: Amid protests by opposition to the twin ordinances promulgated on Sunday to provide for extension in tenure of chiefs of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI by a possible 3 years beyond their mandatory two-year term, government has moved swiftly to encode the change in the relevant service rules.
The government on Monday amended the Fundamental Rules, 1922 to bring them in sync with amendments to Central Vigilance Commission Act and the Delhi Police Special Establishment Act, which govern the ED and the CBI respectively. The Acts, amended through ordinance route, had extended the maximum tenure of CBI and ED director to five years.
The original Rule 56(d) of FR 1922 pertained to top functionaries like home secretary, defence secretary, foreign secretary, and chiefs of the Intelligence Bureau and Research & Analyses Wing, whose tenures could be extended by the government up to a maximum of two years and beyond as specified. The amended Rule 56(d) mentions the directors of the ED and the CBI along with defence secretary, home secretary, director of Intelligence Bureau and R&AW secretary.
Curiously, foreign secretary does not figure in the grouping, leading to speculation whether the omission was deliberate or an oversight. The original Rule 56(d) rule provided for a two-year term for foreign secretary, extendable by another year.
The notification of the rule intensified the buzz that the twin ordinances may have been designed to secure further extension of tenure for ED chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra after his term runs out on Thursday.
The amended rules do not change matters for home secretary, defence secretary and the chiefs of the IB and R&AW since the earlier rules also provided for an extension of their service for a period or periods deemed proper by the government, with reasons to be recorded in writing, provided their total term does not exceed two years, which may include a period beyond their superannuation age. In the case of home and defence secretaries, a three-month extension beyond two years is also provided for, though this can be made longer by allowing a relaxation in Rule 56. The latter provision, which is replicated in All India Services (Retirement-cum-Death Benefits) Rules, was used to grant a one-year extension to the present home secretary, DIB and RAW chief after they completed their respective two-year terms.
The amendments to DSPE Act and CVC Act, made on Sunday via Ordinance route, provide for a maximum five-year tenure to CBI and Enforcement Directorate chiefs, including a two-year fixed term that may be extended “in public interest” by up to three years, one year at a time. As per the amended Rule 56(d) of FR 1922, the maximum tenure of CBI and ED chiefs shall now be as laid down under the DSPE Act and CVC Act respectively.
“The amended tenures for the two posts are now reflected in the Fundamental Rules, leaving no scope for anyone to question the maximum five-year term on the ground that there cannot be continuous extensions in service for a bureaucrat who has superannuated,” said a senior DoPT functionary.

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