Just moments after the Selection Committee chose Rishi Kumar Shukla as the new CBI director, one of the three members of the committee - Leader of Opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge - has shown 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.
As per Kharge's letter, 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).
He also suggested in the 10th point of his letter that the committee went ahead only with the seniority of Shukla, and did not consider overall experience:
"Seniority cannot be the only criterion in an appointment to such a critical post and experience in anti-corruption cases and prior experience of having served in the organisation should be considered seriously."
The appointment of Shukla as CBI Director came weeks after the selection committee sacked Alok Verma from his post after finding prima facie evidence against him in the charges of corruption that were being investigated by the CVC.