CBI chief selection process triggers row
‘Overlooked’ commissioner approaches tribunal
The UPA government’s winter of discontent is getting prolonged, as the process of selecting the new CBI director has run into trouble.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar has moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) challenging the Department of Personnel (DoP) ignoring him while shortlisting three senior IPS officers for the prestigious premier investigation agency’s top post.
The UPA government has to announce a replacement soon for the present incumbent A P Singh who will demit office on November 30.
The DoP has got the list of three shortlisted candidates – Indo-Tibetan Border Police Director-General Ranjit Kumar Sinha, National Investigation Agency chief S C Sinha and an Uttar Pradesh cadre 1976 batch officer Atul Kumar.
Peeved at being left out, which the police commissioner thought he was capable of making it owing to his professional experience, Niraj Kumar took the rare step of dragging the government to the tribunal. The CAT double bench of judges Dr R C Panda and A K Bhardwaj will take up Kumar’s petition for maiden hearing on Friday.
Kumar’s lawyer Kirtiman Singh confirmed that a petition has been filed in the CAT, but refused to divulge details as he said that the “case was sub-judice”.
The commissioner wants to know from the DoP why he has been left out from the final list, since he has had successful stints with the CBI, the last being as a joint director, apart from meeting the qualification of occupying a police officer’s dream posting, government sources said.
The Central Vigilance Commissioner-headed panel, which also includes two vigilance commissioners, home secretary and personnel secretary, had picked up the three names primarily on the basis of their seniority, government sources said.
On the basis of the three officers selected from a large pool of the topfour IPS batches, the prime minister-chaired Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) takes a final decision.
Government sources suspect that one of the reasons Neeraj Kumar, a 1976-batch UT cadre officer and a St Stephen’s College alumni, might have lost the bus because of an encounter case pending in a Delhi city court.
It is also being speculated that another senior IPS officer has also moved the CAT aggrieved over the panel of three officers short-listed to succeed A P Singh.
The run-up to the selection of chief of the nation’s premier investigation agency has been marred by intense politicking and mudslinging, government officials aware of developments confided.
A slanderous online campaign has been launched to scuttle a short-listed officer’s chance, which has slowed down the procedure of announcing the new CBI chief.
It is learnt that the officer had also met Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde early this month to apprise him of the vilifying campaign against him.
Another of the top three selected officers is said to have dug up his family tree to suggest that his ancestors had roots in a part of UP which is represented by the most powerful family of the Congress.