Interim chief for ED, Karnal Singh denied extension

Interim chief for ED, Karnal Singh denied extension

Karnal Singh retires as senior IPS official

Karnal Singh

The government on Saturday appointed senior IRS officer Sanjay Kumar Mishra as the interim chief of Enforcement Directorate (ED) while incumbent Karnal Singh failed to get an extension.

Mishra's appointment is for three months while Singh superannuated on Saturday.

The appointment of Mishra, a 1984-batch officer who is currently Chief Commissioner in Income Tax Department in the national capital, was made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

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The order said Mishra was appointed to the post of Principal Special Director, Enforcement Directorate and entrusted with the "additional charge of the post of Director, Enforcement Directorate for a period of 03 months or till the appointment of a regular incumbent, whichever is earlier."

If Mishra is appointed as regular Director later, he will be the first IRS official to head the ED. Mishra has wide-ranging experience in investigating foreign tax matters and handled the Vodafone tax dispute.

Singh, a 1984-batch IPS officer, was superannuated on Saturday and it was almost clear that he would not get an extension as some quarters expected. DH on Friday reported that ED is likely to get an interim Director and not a regular one. Before Singh was appointed full-time Director, the ED was run by interim chiefs.

The government decided not to give Singh an extension as he was perceived to be close to CBI Director Alok Verma, who was sent on leave by the government following an ugly spat with his second-in-command Rakesh Asthana.

The top echelons in the government were also said to be unhappy with Singh for his support for his junior officer Rajeshwar Singh when the latter took on Revenue Secretary Hansmukh Adhia. accusing him of derailing his career prospects. As the Director, Singh had forwarded his junior's letter levelling serious allegations against Adhia to the government. However, Rajeshwar later withdrew the letter and apologised.

The ED had also issued a press statement in support of Rajeshwar after a report prepared by RAW was submitted in Supreme Court in a petition against the latter. Officers believe that Rajeshwar may also face the axe soon.

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