After Mallikarjun Kharge wrote a dissent note to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the criteria decided by the high-powered committee were not followed in the appointment of the new CBI Chief Rishi Kumar Shukla, Jitendra Singh, MoS PMO reacted saying that Kharge's claims are unfounded and not based on facts.
"Whatever is being said by him is totally unfounded and not based on facts. For the selection of CBI Director, a very objective criteria was followed," he said.
The MoS PMO also accused Mallikarjun Kharge of manipulating independent assessment based criteria.
"It's rather Mr. Kharge who is guilty of trying to have manipulated independent assessment based criteria, in order to accommodate names of his preference," he said.
Soon after the Selection Committee chose Rishi Kumar Shukla as the new CBI director, Kharge expressed dissent, suggesting that the newly appointed top boss of India's premier investigative agency isn't experienced enough when compared to other candidates for the post.
After much deliberation by the committee - which apart from Kharge includes PM Narendra Modi and CJI Ranjan Gogoi - Shukla, an IPS cadre of 1983 and former DGP of Madhya Pradesh, was picked for a tenure of two years as the CBI boss.
A total of five officers, including Shukla, were picked by the panel after two rounds of meeting. The other candidates in the running were Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, Sudeep Lakhtakia, S. Javed Ahmad and AP Maheshwari. Ultimately, PM Modi and CJI Gogoi chose to go ahead with Shukla, while according to Kharge, the choice should have been between Bhatnagar, Lakhtakia and Javed Ahmad.
The senior Congress leader has shown his displeasure through a letter, in which he has alleged that criterion to select the CBI director was flouted, and that only seniority was taken into consideration, and not the the other two points - ACR above a certain cut off and total experience in investigation and anti-corruption.
RK Shukla is at the bottom when it comes to overall investigative and anti-corruption experience (117 months) as compared to the likes of Lakhtakia (155 months), Bhatnagar (170 months) and Javed Ahmad (303 months).