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Ignoring Kharge's Opposition, PM-led Panel Appoints Ex-MP Top Cop Rishi Kumar Shukla as CBI Chief

Kharge in his note said the three-member committee, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in which he is a member along with Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, has violated law and Supreme Court judgments.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:February 2, 2019, 11:50 PM IST
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New Delhi: Former Madhya Pradesh DGP Rishi Kumar Shukla was appointed as the next CBI director on Saturday.

The Appointment committee of the Cabinet notified the name of 1983 batch MP cadre officer in the afternoon. Sources said that Shukla's strong ACR (annual performance appraisal report) and seniority went in his favour. However, the decision was not by concensus.

Sources close to Mallikarjun Kharge said that the Congress leader in Lok Sabha objected to Shukla's name on grounds that he has never served in CBI and doesn't have any experience in anti-corruption investigation.

"Kharge ji asked how can the premier anti-corruption agency be headed by someone who has no experience in anti-corruption? His choice was Javeed Ahmed, who has more than 12 years of experience in CBI," the source said.

According to reports, the leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha also wrote to PM Modi expressing his dissent. He alleged that the officer did not have experience in handling anti-corruption cases and the criterion for selection was diluted in violation of law and Supreme Court judgments.

Kharge said the criterion in selecting the CBI Director has been diluted to include investigation experience only and not experience in investigating 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.

According to the officials, 16 names were put before the selection committee. DG CRPF RR Bhatnagar and Rishi Shukla were the senior most in that list.

Kharge insisted on CBI experience, which would mean that BSF DG Rajnikant Mishra was best placed. But committee ultimately fixed the criteria to be ACR of 95 and above, and experience of at least 100 months in anti-corruption or investigation.

Shukla, with an ACR of 96 and seniority, made the cut and got support of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

MP cadre officials, who have worked with the newly-appointed CBI chief, told CNN-News18 that as DG Economic Offence Wing and as DGP MP, Shukla has proved his administrative and investigative mettle. "I am happy with the appointment. Will give my best for the new assignment," Shukla told CNN-News18 when asked about the challenges ahead.

Kamal Nath government had posted Shukla as DG home guards. He is likely to take charge as CBI director on Monday.

The development assumes significance as the Supreme Court had said on Friday it was "averse" to the arrangement of an interim CBI director and the Centre should "immediately" appoint a regular chief of the probe agency.

The post of CBI director is "sensitive" and "important", and it is not good to keep an interim director of the agency for longer period, the top court observed and sought to know as to why the government has not made the appointment yet.

The post of the CBI chief has been lying vacant since January 10 after the unceremonious exit of Verma, who had been engaged in a bitter fight with Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana over corruption charges. M Nageswara Rao has been working as the interim CBI chief after Verma's ouster.

| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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