Sharad Chandra Sinha new NIA chief
Special Director of the CBI Sharad Chandra Sinha was on Wednesday appointed the second chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), succeeding R V Raju who retired on January 31.
The name of Sinha, a 1975 batch IPS office of Haryana cadre, was cleared by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The 56-year-old Sinha will have a tenure till October 31, 2013 or as per further orders issued by the Government, an official notification said.
His long tenure was likely to help the government in implementing various policies in countering the threat of terrorism, which includes setting up of a National Counter Terrorism Centre.
Before joining CBI, Sinha was Director General in the State Vigilance Bureau, Haryana. Earlier he had held several important positions in CBI from 1985 to 1990 and from 2002 to 2007, including the post of Joint Director (Economic Offence Wing) and Superintendent of Police.
He has been associated with the investigations of a number of sensitive cases entrusted to CBI by the Supreme Court and High Courts which includes the recent Shopian case and some others that ended in convictions of the accused.
Sinha, a post-graduate in Physics from Lucknow University, has been decorated with the Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 1992 and the President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2003.
Sinha is the second NIA chief in succession who has served in the CBI. The NIA was set up in the aftermath of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
According to the bill, the NIA will have a concurrent jurisdiction which empowers the Centre to probe terror attacks in any part of the country, covering offences including challenge to the country's sovereignty and integrity.
It can also take up cases relating to bomb blasts, hijacking of aircraft and ships, and attacks on nuclear installations.
Raju, a 1975-batch IPS officer, who headed the NIA, had demitted his office on January 31. Besides the new agency, he had served in the vigilance department in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was selected for the post of NIA considering his wide knowledge and experiences in investigating high-profile cases, including the case of assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.