The Narendra Modi government appointed 1983 batch IPS officer and former Madhya Pradesh Police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla as the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday for a fixed tenure of two years. He is at present the chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation. Shukla succeeds Alok Kumar Verma, who was on January 10 removed from the post.
The three-member panel, led by PM Modi to appoint the CBI director, had held a meeting on Friday but it remained inconclusive following objections by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on the names shortlisted by the government. Kharge is also a member of the panel apart from the Chief Justice of India.
The Supreme Court had earlier told the government that it was "averse" to the arrangement of an interim CBI director and the Centre should "immediately" appoint a regular chief of the probe agency.
The post of CBI director is "sensitive" and "important", and it is not good to keep an interim director of the agency for a longer period, the top court observed and sought to know as to why the government has not made the appointment yet.
The post of the CBI chief has been lying vacant since January 10 after the unceremonious exit of Alok Verma, who had been engaged in a bitter fight with Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana over corruption charges.
Both Verma and Asthana had accused each other of corruption.
M Nageswara Rao has been working as the interim CBI chief after Verma's ouster.
Friday's meeting was held at the prime minister's residence - that lasted for over an hour - and was attended by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Kharge.
The panel's January 24 meeting had also remained inconclusive.
A list of eligible officers along with their dossiers was shared with the panel members in the last meeting.
"The government presented names of 70-80 officers. There was no mention of their career details including relevant experience. We (referring to CJI Gogoi) have asked them to provide all the necessary details. The next meeting will be convened maybe by next week," Kharge had told reporters after the January 24 meeting.
Verma, after being removed from the post of CBI director by the PM-led panel, was named as the Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards -- a less significant portfolio.
Verma did not accept the offer and wrote to the government, saying he should be considered as deemed superannuated as he has completed 60 years age of superannuation on July 31, 2017.
He had taken over as the CBI chief on February 1, 2017, for a fixed two-year tenure that ended Thursday.