Former Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police, Rishi Kumar Shukla has been appointed as the new CBI chief by the PM-led panel. He has been appointed as the top boss of the CBI for a fixed tenure of two years. He is presently the Chairman of Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation in Bhopal. Shukla was recently transferred from the post of Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh to head the Police Housing Corporation. He has been appointed as the CBI Director at a rather crucial juncture. He will be heading the premier investigation agency at a time when a number of high profile cases are undergoing investigation.
However, the Congress party is divided over the appointment of the CBI chief. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge expressed his objection over the appointment of Rishi Kumar Shukla as CBI Director. Kharge was part of a three-member committee formed to choose the new CBI chief.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in a dissent note to the Prime Minister expressed his objection over the appointment of IPS officer Rishi Kumar Shukla as the new CBI Director citing the officer's lack of experience in anti-corruption investigations. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/B8XcEfbSqc
— ANI (@ANI) February 2, 2019
On the other hand, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh hailed the appointment of Shukla. Digvijaya in a tweet congratulated the appointment of the former Madhya Pradesh DGP as the new CBI Director.
I congratulate Rishi Kumar Shukla DGP the first MP cadre officer to be appointed as Director CBI. He should have been made Director IB when the present incumbent was given 6 months extension because of his wide experience in IB.
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) February 3, 2019
Rishi Kumar Shukla will have to complete investigation in a number of crucial cases such as the AugustaWestland scam, 2G scam, Air India scandal, charges against Congress leaders Chidambaram and Hooda, Shradha and Rosevalley chit fund probes and FIR against ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar.
Shukla has been appointed as the CBI chief after the PM-led selection panel held two meetings on January 24 and February 1. On Friday, the apex court had said that it was averse to an interim CBI chief. And asked the government to immediately appoint a regular CBI Director. The Supreme Court had observed that the post of CBI chief is sensitive and important, and therefore it is not good to keep an interim Director of the probe agency for very long.
Rishi Kumar Shukla, a 1983-batch IPS officer has a strong and impressive ACR (annual performance appraisal report) and his seniority went in his favour too in his appointment as the Director of the premier investigation agency. However, the decision to appoint Shukla as the CBI Director was not taken by consensus. As expected, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge expressed dissent. A source said, “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.”
MP cadre officials who have worked with Shukla told CNN-News18 that as DG Economic Offence Wing and as DGP, Madhya Pradesh has proved his administrative and investigative mettle. Shukla told CNN-News18, “I am happy with the appointment. Will give my best for the new assignment.”
The previous CBI chief Alok Verma had been removed as the CBI chief by Selection Committee led by the PM Modi on account of serious corruption charges against the officer. The former CBI chief, Alok Verma was then moved and appointed as the Director General (fire services and home guards). The post of the CBI chief has been lying vacant since January 10 after the exit of the previous CBI chief Alok Verma. M Nageswara Rao has been acting as the interim CBI chief since then.
Appointment of a regular CBI chief is a welcome move. One cannot overemphasize the importance of the post of CBI Director. With a number of scams of the previous regime undergoing investigation, it was imperative that the government appointed a regular CBI chief at the earliest. The new CBI Director, Shukla will have a number of challenges in his new assignment and one hopes that he will prove his mettle as the head of the premier investigation agency of the country.