As PM-Led Panel Names New CBI Chief, Mallikarjun Kharge Voices Dissent

Former Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police Rishi Kumar Shukla, a 1983-batch officer, has been appointed the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

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As PM-Led Panel Names New CBI Chief, Mallikarjun Kharge Voices Dissent

Mallikarjun Kharge was part of a committee formed to select the new CBI Director (File)


New Delhi: 

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge -- who was part of a three-member committee formed to choose the new CBI Director-- had protested against the selection of Rishi Kumar Shukla as the chief of the investigative agency. In his dissent note, the Leader of Opposition had argued that the officer lacked "experience in anti-corruption cases".

Former Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police Rishi Kumar Shukla, a 1983-batch officer, has been appointed the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation. His name was chosen from a shortlist of over 30 contenders for the top post by a committee that comprised of Mr Kharge, PM Modi and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Mr Kharge also alleged in his dissent note that committee had violated the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE) that governs the CBI by including officers who didn't have experience in anti-corruption cases.

"By including officers who do not have experience in investigating anti-corruption cases, committee is in violation of DSPE Act and Supreme Court judgements guiding CBI Director's appointment," he said in the note.

"Seniority cannot be only criterion in appointment to such a critical post and experience in anti-corruption cases and prior experience of having served in the organisation should also be considered," he added.

The selection committee had met a few times to finalise the candidate for the post of CBI Director. The vital post had been vacant following an unceremonious exit of previous CBI chief Alok Verma, who was removed last month by the committee led by PM Modi. Mr Verma was transferred to the Fire Services as Director General, after the panel said that as CBI chief, he had "not acted with the integrity expected of him". Mr Kharge had dissented on the decision of the panel, saying the vigilance inquiry had not found evidence that Mr Verma was guilty of bribery.

Mr Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana had a public spat last year in which they levelled allegations of corruption against each other. The government in October effected a midnight coup of sorts when it stripped Mr Verma of his powers and installed M Nageswar Rao as the interim chief. The Supreme Court last month reinstated Mr Verma, but he was removed within days.

The new CBI chief Rishi Kumar Shukla, 58, is at present the chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation. Although Mr Shukla has never been part of the CBI, he had served in the Intelligence Bureau where he handled several sensitive cases. He is said to be close to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said it was Mr Kharge who tried to manipulate the criteria.

"Kharge tried to manipulate the objective criteria, based on independent and impartial assessment, to select CBI Director...He wanted to include some officers of his preference in the short-list of candidates," he told PTI.

With inputs from agencies



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