The Narendra Modi-led Selection Committee on Saturday appointed Rishi Kumar Shukla as the Central Bureau of Investigation director, according to several media reports. Shukla, a 1983-batch IPS officer, is currently serving as chairman of Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation in Bhopal.

He has been appointed in place of Alok Kumar Verma, who was removed from the post of CBI Director on January 10.

ANI reported that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shukla, a 1983 Madhya Pradesh cadre and former DGP, for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the office. Shukla was recently transferred from the post of Director General of Madhya Pradesh Police to the police housing corporation.

The announcement came a day after the second meeting of the Selection Committee ended inconclusively. Friday’s meeting was held at the prime minister’s residence — that lasted for over an hour — and attended by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge, who is the leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha.

The panel earlier met on 24 January, but could not decide on the new CBI chief.

The post of the CBI chief has been lying vacant since 10 January after the unceremonious exit of Alok Verma, who had been engaged in a bitter fight with his deputy at the CBI, Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana, over corruption charges. Both Verma and Asthana had accused each other of corruption.

After being removed from the post of CBI director by the Modi-led panel, Verma was named as the director general of fire services, civil defence and home guards, a far less significant portfolio. Verma did not accept the offer and wrote to the government, saying he should be deemed superannuated as he was 60 years old and reached superannuation age on 31 July, 2017.

Verma took over as CBI chief on 1 February, 2017, for a fixed two-year tenure that ended on Thursday. M Nageswara Rao has been working as the interim CBI chief since Verma’s ouster.

The news of Shukla’s appointment also comes a day after the Supreme Court questioned the Centre over the delay in the appointment of the CBI director, saying it was “averse” to the appointment of an interim chief for the agency for a long period.

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.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Feb 02, 2019 18:19:52 IST