The Central government on Friday appointed a Gujarat cadre 1984 batch IPS officer, Rakesh Asthana, as the new in-charge of CBI. He is considered to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader Amit Shah.
The decision has come a day before the current CBI Director Anil Sinha demits office. He was appointed Asthana as additional director in CBI in April this year.
Asthana, who was the first to declare the Godhra train fire of February 2002 as a “carefully planned and meticulously executed criminal conspiracy” was made in-charge of the premiere investigation agency, after the government could not finalise the name for the new CBI director on time.
Besides the Godhra probe, when he was on deputation as a Superintendent of Police (SP) in Patna and had arrested RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam. In his capacity as the Additional Director of CBI, he had led SIT probes into Vijay Mallya’s alleged bank fraud and the Rs 3,726 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
The panel that chooses the CBI director from among eligible IPS officers has not met yet. It comprises the PM, leader of opposition and the Chief Justice of India.
Asthana is the second IPS officer from Gujarat to be appointed in the premier investigation agency on a senior position. Earlier, Arun Kumar Sharma was appointed as joint director in the CBI. Sharma too is very close to both Modi and Shah.
On Wednesday, ignoring the Supreme Court order that no CBI officer involved in investigating a high-profile corruption cases must be moved out, the Centre has transferred a Special Director in CBI RK Dutta, who was in charge of investigations in the coal allocation and 2G cases, to another department of the Home Ministry. R K Dutta was tipped to become the CBI director after Anil Sinha retires on Friday.
This has raised suspicion that the home ministry was trying to appoint new director disregarding the seniority. Asthana is three year junior to RK Dutta.
Source : South LIve