Why did Mallikarjun Kharge dissent to the new CBI director’s appointment?

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: February 4, 2019

In his dissent note, the Leader of Opposition had argued that the officer lacked "experience in anti-corruption cases" and alleged that the criterion for selection was diluted in violation of law and Supreme Court judgements.


 Kharge
 
New Delhi: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge sent a two-page dissent note to the prime minister after the government announced the name of the 1983 batch officer and former Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police, Rishi Kumar Shukla, as the new CBI Director.
 
He was a part of the three-member committee formed to choose the new CBI Director and had protested against the selection of Shukla as the chief of the investigative agency. In his dissent note, the Leader of Opposition had argued that the officer lacked "experience in anti-corruption cases" and alleged that the criterion for selection was diluted in violation of law and Supreme Court judgements.
 
Shukla was removed as DGP of Madhya Pradesh only three days ago by the new Congress government in the state. His name was chosen from a shortlist of over 30 contenders for the top post by a committee that comprised of Mr Kharge, PM Modi and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
 
Mr Kharge also alleged in his dissent note that the committee had violated the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE) that governs the CBI by including officers who didn't have experience in anti-corruption cases.
 
"By including officers who do not have experience in investigating anti-corruption cases, the committee is in violation of DSPE Act and Supreme Court judgements guiding CBI Director's appointment," he said in the note.
 
"Seniority cannot be the only criterion in appointment to such a critical post and experience in anti-corruption cases and prior experience of having served in the organisation should also be considered," he added.
 
The selection committee had met a few times to finalise the candidate for the post of CBI Director. The vital post had been vacant following an unceremonious exit of previous CBI chief Alok Verma, who was removed last month by the committee led by PM Modi.
 
Verma was transferred to the Fire Services as Director-General after the panel said that as CBI chief, he had "not acted with the integrity expected of him".
 
Kharge had dissented on the decision of the panel, saying the vigilance inquiry had not found evidence that Verma was guilty of bribery.
 
The new CBI chief Rishi Kumar Shukla, 58, is at present the chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation. Although Shukla has never been part of the CBI, he had served in the Intelligence Bureau where he handled several sensitive cases. He is said to be close to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
 
Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said it was Mr Kharge who tried to manipulate the criteria.
 
"Kharge tried to manipulate the objective criteria, based on independent and impartial assessment, to select CBI Director...He wanted to include some officers of his preference in the short-list of candidates," he told PTI.
 
Union minister Arun Jaitley accused Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge of excessive dissent and making the appointment of the Central Bureau of Investigation director look like a political battle on Sunday. Kharge had failed to leave his “political colour” while on a panel to select the director, Jaitley had said.
 
In a Facebook post titled “Has Mr Kharge Brought Down The Value Of Dissent,” Jaitley wrote that “Kharge dissents regularly.”