Not a bed of roses for Rishi Kumar Shukla, the new CBI chief

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Feb 04: Rishi Kumar Shukla took charge as the new CBI director on Monday. He was appointed as the new CBI chief by a high powered panel on Saturday.

Shukla takes charge on a day, when the agency he heads is at war with West Bengal over the probe into various chit fund scams. The challenge ahead for Shukla is immense. The CBI has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the past couple of months. The CBI mess that was started due to a public spat between Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana has dragged on for long.

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While he would have to restore the sanity within the CBI, he would also need to ensure that the Bengal problem is sorted out. A lot would depend on what the Supreme Court would have to say on the plea filed by the CBI. The court would hear a CBI plea on Tuesday which challenged the action by the West Bengal government. It may be recalled that officers of the CBI were detained by the Bengal police, while they were attempting to probe the chit fund cases.

CBI officers tell OneIndia that Shukla taking charge is a big relief. He will help restore order in the CBI. The first few months in particular would be challenging considering the fact that the CBI has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, the officer also said.

Shukla is the former DGP of Madhya Pradesh and was chosen by the panel comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and Chief Justice of India. He will head the CBI for a period of two years.

Shukla is a 1983 batch Indian Police Service officer. He was previously the Director General of the Madhya Pradesh police.

Hailing from Gwalior, he was first posted as the Assistant Superintendent of Police in Raipur. He later went on to become the SP in Damoh, Shivpuri and Mandsaur districts. He was on central deputation between 1992 and 1996 and served as ADG, Intelligence.

In all there were 75 names, but during the meeting on Friday, the list was brought down to five. Shukla's name featured along with that of R R Bhatnagar, CRPF chief, Sudeep Lakhtakia, NSG chief, Javeed Ahmed, National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences director and A P Maheshwari, BPR&D chief.

The development assumes significance as earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said it was "averse" to the arrangement of an interim CBI Director and the Centre should "immediately" appoint a regular chief of the probe agency.

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The post of CBI Director is "sensitive" and "important", and it is not good to keep an interim director of the agency for 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 had 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.

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