New Delhi: PM has approved his appointment for a period of two years. Delhi Police chief Alok Verma was named as the next head of the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI today for a two-year term.
The selection comes in the wake of a huge controversy over the appointment of Gujarat officer RK Asthana as the acting chief of the agency in December, which was challenged in court by lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan.
A three-member committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met earlier this week to choose the next chief of the CBI. At the meeting, Mr Verma had got two of the three votes — that of PM Modi and Chief Justice of India JS Khehar.
The Congress, whose leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge was the third member of the committee, had supported RK Dutta – a former CBI officer — for the post, citing Mr Verma’s lack of experience in the CBI and in anti-corruption units.
In his petition, Mr Bhushan had supported Mr Dutta’s candidature, saying he was the most qualified officer, given his vast experience in handling anti-corruption units.
Mr Dutta had been given charge of a financial terrorism unit in the Home Ministry. The government had said he was too senior to head the CBI and deserved a special pay grade.
Mr Verma, a 1979 batch IPS officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre, is known to maintain a low profile. He had replaced BS Bassi as the police chief in February 2016, after serving as the Director General of Delhi’s Tihar jail.