Kharge dissents to Shukla as new CBI chief

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and member of high-powered selection committee, Mallikarjun Kharge, on Saturday dissented to the appointment of Rishi Kumar Shukla as new CBI chief contending that 1983-batch IPS officer did not have any experience in investigating anti-corruption cases.

“Seniority can’t be the only criterion in an 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 seriously,” Kharge said in his dissent note to the panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Kharge had earlier dissented to the panel’s decision to remove Alok verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director.

He cited the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act and the Supreme Court judgement in Vineet Narain case which provide for a minimum of 100 months of experience in anti-corruption cases as a qualification for the post.

“I would like to bring to your kind attention that both Supreme Court judgement and DSPE Act talk about experience in investigation of anti-corruption cases only.

“However, the criterion decided in the meeting has diluted this to include investigation experience. This would be both against the letter and spirit of the DSPE Act which clearly states investigation of anti-corruption cases,” he said in the dissent note.

Asserting that it was important to restore the image and integrity of the CBI and in fighting against corruption, “prior experience of having served in the institution should be given primacy”.

“One can’t stand by and accept the dilution of norms when an appointment to such a critical post is being made.

“By including officers who do not have experience in investigating anti-corruption cases, the committee is in violation of the DSPE Act and the Supreme Court judgement that guide the appointment of the Director, CBI,” said Kharge.

Based on seniority, integrity and experience in investigation of anti-corruption cases, Kharge advocated the candidature of Director of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences S. Javeed Ahmed, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar and National Security Guard (NSG) Director General Sudeep Lakhtakia.

As compared to Javeed Ahmed’s experience of 160 months of investigating anti-corruption cases, the newly appointed CBI Director had nil experience in handling such cases, Kharge pointed out.

“Adding of general investigative experience to experience in investigating anti-corruption to enhance overall experience has led to inclusion of candidates who either have no experience or at best very little experience in investigation of anti-corruption cases,” said Kharge recording his dissent against the recommendation of the panel of names for appointment to the post of CBI Director.