Former Madhya Pradesh Police Chief Rishi Kumar Shukla Appointed As CBI Boss

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Rishi Kumar Shukla is at present the chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation. — IANS file

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — According to a government notification, former Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police Rishi Kumar Shukla, a 1983-batch officer, has been appointed as the new CBI Director on Saturday by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

Mr Shukla will head the CBI for a period of two years, the notification added.

“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, based on the panel recommended by the Committee, constituted as per Section 4 A(1) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, approved the appointment of Rishi Kumar Shukla as the Director, CBI, vice Alok Kumar Verma for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the office,” an official notification said, reports IANS. 

His name was chosen from a shortlist of over 30 contenders for the top post by a committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The second meeting of the selection committee, on Friday, to choose the next chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) remained inconclusive after one of its members, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, declined to accept some names suggested by the government, The Hindustan Times, quoted people
familiar with the development.

Lack of a consensus in the three-member panel over candidates in line for the top job at the agency is understood to prompt the government to announce the new CBI director in a 2-1 majority decision, the media reports hint.

The officer is at present the chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation.

The 59-year-old Shukla, who was DGP during the BJP regime in Madhya Pradesh for nearly three years, has not worked in the CBI or in the state’s anti-corruption wing at any time in his career. He would have normally retired in August next year but his tenure at CBI will come to an end in February 2021.

According to sources, two names–Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, a 1983-batch UP cadre IPS officer, and Shukla were zeroed in from out of the five shortlisted officers and the government recommended Shukla for the top post in the CBI on ground he was the senior-most. 

Opposing this, Kharge, in his dissent note, said the criterion decided in the high-level committee meeting “has diluted this to include investigation experience”.

“This would be both against the letter and spirit of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act which clearly states investigation of anti-corruption case,” he said.

On Friday, the Supreme Court pulled up the centre for the delay in appointing the CBI chief and said it was “averse” to the arrangement of an interim CBI director. However, three top court judges recused themselves from the case for various reasons.

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 had observed.

The CBI Director’s post had been vacant since the unceremonious exit of Alok Verma, following a bitter fight with his deputy and Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana over corruption allegations.

On Janury 10, Alok Verma was removed as boss of the high-profile investigating agency by a panel led by PM Modi and was transferred to the Fire Services as Director General, which he refused to take charge and quit the job.

(With inputs from agencies)

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