Rishi Kumar Shukla, a 1983-batch IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, was appointed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director on Saturday by the government.
Shukla’s appointment came after the high-level selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi met twice in the last nine days to select a name from a list of over 70 candidates for the investigating agency’s top job.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Shukla’s appointment as new CBI Director for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the office.
Shukla is currently serving as the Director General, Police Housing Corporation. He has previously worked in the Intelligence Bureau.
The decision to appoint Shukla as the CBI chief comes a day after the second high-level selection committee meeting reportedly remained inconclusive. The meeting was also attended by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
After the failure of the first meeting held on 24 January, Kharge had said that there weren’t enough details to work with.
“We told PM that meeting should be called at the earliest. If meeting keeps postponing, then the person appointed as CBI Interim Director who is not even eligible will be continuing,” Kharge said referring to CBI Interim Director Nageswara Rao.
“First mistake, someone who is not even eligible was appointed and, secondly, without giving any details, they called a meeting,” the Congress leader was quoted as saying by ANI.
“This delay in meeting is because of government’s mistake. This meeting should be held before 21 February when his term ends,” he demanded.
The names of around 60-70 candidates were discussed in the first meeting. Kharge had following the end of the first meeting told reporters that details relating to seniority and batch of all the candidates in a combined list have been sought.
The high-level committee had earlier removed Alok Verma as CBI chief by making him the Director General, Fire Services, Civil Services and Home Guard which he refused to accept. A day after the high-level meeting, Verma resigned from the government job.
Verma and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Director Rakesh Asthana were sent on forced leave on 23 October after their fight became public. Both the officials had levelled allegations and counter allegations of bribery against each other.