Sanjay Kumar Mishra is an Indian government official. He was the director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Sanjay Kumar Mishra was born in 1960 (age 63 years; as of 2024) in Lucknow, India. Mishra pursued his Master’s in Biochemistry at the University of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India. He was a senior research fellow at the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), where he was the author of research papers on the subject of immunology. Mishra then appeared for the civil services exam which he passed on his first attempt.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Colour: Grey
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about his parents and siblings.
Mishra worked as an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer in 1984. His first posting in the IRS was in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh as assistant director of Income Tax. He then served as the chief commissioner of Income Tax in Delhi. After this, he was appointed to the Enforcement Directorate before returning to Income Tax in 1994, where he was posted in Ahmedabad, then Maharashtra. In 2006, he was posted in Delhi and he dealt with international taxation and transfer pricing. When he was working in Income tax, he worked on two cases that caught the attention of the government, one against NDTV and the other against Young Indian. The cases started as tax assessments and Mishra turned them into prosecutable offences. Mishra was then appointed as a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. He also worked under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Sanjay Kumar Mishra first joined the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as an assistant director and overlooked Agra and Jaipur. In 1994, he returned to the Income Tax for nine years. In October 2018 Mishra was appointed as the principal special director of the ED and acting director of the ED for three months or until the post was filled.
Mishra was appointed as the director of the ED on 19 November 2018. Though he was only appointed for a term of two years, the central government passed an order in November 2020, that in simple words, gave the government the power to extend terms. They extended Mishra’s term by one year. Mishra gained importance by working on the government’s anti-corruption efforts. The government extended his term twice. The Centre extended his term a second time in 2021 to go up to November 2022. In 2022, the government passed a law that allowed the Centre to extend Mishra’s term for three years past the mandatory three years. In 2023, the government issued a notice stating that his term would continue until 18 November 2023. The opposition parties filed a petition in the Supreme Court stating the centre was taking advantage of its position. The Supreme Court ruled that the extensions were illegal, and allowed Mishra to stay on until 31 July 2023.
Centre moves Supreme Court seeking extension of term of Enforcement Directorate Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra. SC will hear it on July 27. SK Mishra's term will end on July 31 as ED Director as per the Supreme Court judgement pic.twitter.com/RoNgeDtgzS
— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2023
The Centre filed another request for extension and the Supreme Court allowed extension until 15 September 2023. Under his leadership, the ED was referred to as “the new CBI” as it conducted quick investigations into financial fraud and money laundering cases involving political figures. Under Mishra, the ED reported to have targeted assets worth Rs 65,000 crores in just four years through over 2,000 raids. From 2018 to 2023, Mishra is said to have conducted around 3,000 searches and registered about 4,000 cases.
During Mishra’s tenure, he was in charge of cases against many notable people, especially politicians from opposition parties, and activists. The ED conducted investigations of P. Chidambaram (former finance minister), Sharad Pawar and Anil Deshmukh (from the Nationalist Congress Party), and V. Senthil Balaji (Member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council among others. They also conducted investigations against activists such as Harsh Mander, journalist Siddique Kappan and NewsClick, a media house.
Controversy Surrounding Multiple Extensions
Sanjay Kumar Mishra faced controversy in 2023 due to the multiple extensions he got over the post of director at the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Though Mishra started as an interim director and was then appointed to complete a term of two years from 2018 to 2020, the central government extended it thrice, past his age of retirement.
Many opposition parties filed petitions in the Supreme Court of India to challenge an ordinance introduced by the central government with amendments extending Mishra’s tenure. The government responded stating that Mishra’s term had to be extended as he was needed for the resolution of ongoing cases. The Centre dismissed the opposition from the other parties as motivated and lacking in merit. They argued that failure to extend the tenure of directors of the ED or CBI could slow down the country’s fight against corruption and money laundering. They stated that it was important to maintain continuity for effective operations. The Supreme Court made a statement questioning the competency of the ED,
Despite controversies and Supreme Court rulings against further extensions, the government repeatedly extended Mishra’s tenure. During his tenure, the ED, under Mishra’s leadership, investigated several high-profile cases involving opposition figures, but critics accused the government of selectively targeting its political rivals. The opposing parties did not back down and accused the government of misusing their power. The Supreme Court, which ruled that the extensions were illegal, stated Mishra had to step down as director. The Centre made another request to increase Mishra’s term until October, and the Supreme Court allowed the extension until 15 September 2023, which is one month less than what the Centre requested.
- Mishra follows intermittent fasting.
- Mishra hates social media and does his best to keep his life out of the public view.
- Mishra is an avid reader. He enjoys reading Urdu poetry by Mirza Ghalib, Qateel Shifai and Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
- Mishra runs a distance of 10 kilometres every day. Speaking of his health habits, an officer in the ED said,