After the retirement of Anil Sinha, Director CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) today, 2 December 2016, the Government has given the charge of the post of Director CBI to Shri Rakesh Asthana, IPS, as an interim measure. Shri Asthana is an IPS officer of 1984 batch of Gujarat cadre.
At present, Shri Rakesh Asthana is posted as Additional Director in CBI, New Delhi. After the transfer of Shri R.K. Dutta, Special Director, CBI to the post of Special Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, yesterday, Shri Asthana became the second senior-most officer in CBI after the Director Anil Sinha who retired today. So, now Shri Asthana will hold the additional charge of the sensitive post of Director of CBI as an interim measure.
It is noteworthy that Shri Asthana has earlier held the posts of Police Commissioner in Surat and Vadodara during the period when Shri Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. As per the reports, as the IGP of Vadodara range, he had supervised the initial investigation in the Godhra train incident case.
It is pertinent to point out that as per Section 4-A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, Director of CBI is appointed on the recommendation of a three-member Committee consisting of the following:
(a) the Prime Minister – the Chairperson;
(b) the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House —Member;
(c) the Chief Justice of India or Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him – Member.
It is not clear whether any meeting of the above committee was held recently in view of the impending retirement of the incumbent Director CBI Shri Anil Sinha, or whether such meeting was held but no name could be finalised for the post of Director CBI.
In any case, Shri Rakesh Asthana will hold charge of the post of Director CBI till a regular appointment is made on the basis of recommendation of the above committee.