New Delhi: CBI Additional Director Praveen Sinha, a 1988-batch Gujarat cadre IPS, has been appointed acting chief of the agency. Praveen Sinha will be in the position till a decision on a new director is taken. Sinha succeeds Rishi Kumar Shukla who retired Wednesday after a two-year fixed stint. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Sinha’s name. This is the fourth time since 2014 that an acting director has been given charge to look after duties of the CBI chief.
Earlier, Rakesh Asthana, then additional director, held the fort before Alok Verma was appointed as Director. M Nageswara Rao, as additional director, took charge of the agency twice. It happened when the government removed Asthana and Verma from the agency. Both had allegations of corruption levelled by them against each other. After a probe, the CBI cleared the allegations against Asthana. He is now the chief of the BSF.
The CBI director is chosen by a high-powered committee. It comprises of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.
It is understood that the meeting of the committee could not be convened for choosing Shukla’s successor. Sinha, who was next in seniority, was given the charge.
An order was issued Wednesday by the Department of Personal and Training. It stated that Sinha will look after duties of the director with immediate effect till the appointment of a new CBI chief or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
Shukla is a 1983-batch IPS officer. He completed his two-year stint in the agency which was marked by Indian victory in London courts allowing extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya.
The Madhya Pradesh cadre, soft spoken officer allowed anyone with a grievance to walk into his office Fridays. During his tenure, the CBI caught some notorious paedophiles in India. They were running international racket of producing and selling child sexual abuse material on dark web.
Shukla was the Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police for three years. He took over the reins of the agency February 4, 2019.