• Former Director-General of Police of Madhya Pradesh Rishi Kumar Shukla, a 1983 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the M.P. cadre, was on Saturday appointed the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country’s premier investigation agency, for two years.
• Mr. Shukla was picked from a panel of several names cleared by the high-power committee, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
• “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has, based on the panel recommended by the Committee constituted as per Section 4A(1) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, approved the appointment of Rishi Kumar Shukla as Director, CBI, for a period of two years,” stated the official notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in the evening.
• However, the Leader of the Opposition M. Mallikarjun Kharge submitted a dissent note on Mr. Shukla’s appointment, saying he did not meet the required criteria as he had not worked in any anti-corruption agency.
• In his dissent letter, Mr. Kharge contended that three aspects — seniority, integrity and experience in investigation of anti-corruption cases — should be given equal weightage to get officers best suited in the short-list.
• He also stressed that the criteria decided at the meeting were diluted by adding general investigation experience as experience of investigation of anti-corruption cases.
• Mr. Shukla’s appointment comes at a time when the agency is mired in a series of controversies related to a bitter fight between two top officials.
• Former Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana, both of whom were shunted out following serious corruption allegations against them.
Mains Paper 2: Governance
Prelims level: CBI
Mains level: Appointments of various government institutions