Published On: Sat, Oct 27th, 2018

IRS officer S K Mishra appointed ED chief, replaces Karnal Singh

New Delhi: IRS officer Sanjay Kumar Mishra was on Saturday appointed the new chief of the Enforcement Directorate in an additional capacity, a government order said.

ED Director Karnal Singh is set to retire today after heading the agency for more than two-and-half years.

Mishra, a 1984-batch Indian Revenue Service officer of the Income Tax cadre, has been appointed as the Principal Special Director in the agency and has been entrusted with the additional charge of ED Director for three months.

Mishra will take over from incumbent Karnal Singh whose tenure at the agency ends on Sunday.

Singh, a 1984-batch IPS officer of Union Territories cadre, is set to retire today after heading the agency for more than two-and-half years.

Official sources said Mishra, posted as chief commissioner of Income Tax in Delhi at present, has not been empanelled as an additional secretary in the central government and hence has been given the top ED charge in an additional capacity.

He is expected to be empanelled soon and subsequently will head the ED in a regular capacity, they said.

The ED director post is an additional secretary rank post in the Union government.

According to some sources, SK Mishra is said to be close to the BJP top brass and putting him in the top position at the ED is being seen as an attempt by the BJP government to put up a strong face in the light of the CBI crisis.

There was speculation earlier that Karnal Singh’s tenure may be extended again but sources said developments in the CBI, especially in the past one week which saw the government sending the agency’s two top officers on administrative leave, seem to have scuttled his chances of continuing on the post.

Karnal Singh, sources said, too had decided to step back. He was given three extensions of three-month tenures in 2016 when he had an additional charge of the Director’s post. Following a court order, he was granted a two-year tenure effective October 2016.

The development is also being seen as a fallout of the complaint CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana sent to Cabinet Secretary and the manner in which the government responded. In his complaint, Asthana named ED Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh and CBI Director Alok Verma as the two persons making “concerted efforts to tarnish my image”.

Incidentally, Karnal Singh and Alok Verma share the same UT cadre and both have had long stints in the Delhi Police.

Karnal Singh is also perceived to be close to Rajeshwar Singh. When the government gave an RAW note against Rajeshwar Singh to the Supreme Court — the note alleged that Rajeshwar Singh had received a call from an ISI agent — Karnal Singh issued an official press release, defending his colleague and denying the charges.

The ED enforces two major laws in the country to check black money the criminal Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Inputs with agencies

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