The Centre on Thursday appointed Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma as the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, a decision that was immediately criticised by the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mr. Verma as the new CBI chief for a period of two years,” said an official spokesperson.
The announcement was made following a decision at a meeting on Monday of a high-power panel comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar and Mr Kharge.
Mr Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer, has never served the premier investigation agency in the past, something which has not gone down well with Mr Kharge of the Congress.
“I had given a note saying that the new CBI chief should be a person with long experience in the CBI, Lok Ayukta or handling corruption cases, and that is my contention. The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act says clearly that the appointee should have seniority, merit and long experience in dealing with corruption cases,” he told The Hindu .
The government on Tuesday had informed the Supreme Court that it will take a decision on the next CBI Director by the next hearing on Friday.
The apex court was hearing a PIL petition by non-government organisation Common Cause, challenging the transfer of the then CBI second-in-command R.K. Dutta to the Union Home Ministry and the appointment of Gujarat cadre 1984 batch IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as the interim CBI chief.
The post fell vacant on December 2 when Anil Sinha retired, after which Mr. Asthana was given additional charge of the CBI.
Mr. Verma has earlier held the posts of Director-General of Tihar Central Jail, Puducherry and Mizoram.
While he worked in the Ministry of Textile for about six years and was also posted in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the IPS officer served the Delhi Police in various capacities and also had a five-year stint with the IB.