Home >Politics >Policy >CBI director Ranjit Sinha retires, says he has done no good work

New Delhi: “I have done no good work," was how a visibly peeved Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Ranjit Sinha reacted on Monday with sarcasm on his two years at the agency’s helm, a tumultuous tenure that comes to an end on Tuesday.

“I am not going to say anything. I have done no good work. Write what you want to write. Enough dirt has been thrown upon me," he shot back at reporters who had asked him to sum up his tenure in CBI.

Sinha faced severe criticism from the Supreme Court over probe in the coal and 2G scams. When asked whether he was also planning to write a book on his experience on the lines of former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Vinod Rai or former coal secretary P.C. Parakh, Sinha said: “I will do whatever I have to do. I will not follow them."

Sinha’s tenure at the top of CBI has seen highs like busting of some big bribery cases involving a railway board member, chairman and managing director of a public sector bank, chief executive officer of censor board among others. The lows involved criticism he faced from the Supreme Court that asked him to step down from 2G probe, criticism from the special court for shoddy probe in coal scam cases, sharing of status report in coal with the then law minister Ashwani Kumar after which the agency received sobriquet of “caged parrot" from the apex court.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday to decide on a successor to Sinha. This will be the first appointment of the CBI director after the Lokpal Act was enforced this year.

Among the names doing rounds for the top post are director general of Rajasthan police Omendra Bharadwaj and special secretary in home ministry Prakash Mishra. They are 1977-batch IPS officers from Rajasthan and Odisha, respectively. K.S. Balasubramaniam, a 1978-batch IPS officer and at present chief of Kerala police, was also reported to be in the race for the post.

After receiving a nod from President Pranab Mukherjee on the amended Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014, the government set in motion the procedure for selection of a CBI chief. The President gave his assent to the amended procedure under which leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha can be included in the selection panel. The Lok Sabha passed the amendment to the DSPE Bill on Wednesday and it got the nod of Rajya Sabha the next day.

According to the DSPE (Amendment) Act, 2014, the leader of the single largest opposition party in Lok Sabha will be included, when no Leader of Opposition (LoP) is recognized, in the panel to recommend the name for the CBI chief. This paves the way for involving Mallikarjun Kharge, who is the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, in the selection process.

“No appointment of a director shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy or absence of a member in the committee," the Act said. The enactment of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (also known as Lokpal Act) this year has amended the DSPE Act, which governs the functioning of the CBI. Under the existing provisions, the CBI chief has to be appointed by the central government on the basis of recommendation of the selection committee headed by the Prime Minister, and comprising the LoP and the chief justice of India or a Supreme Court judge nominated by him, as members. Earlier, a committee headed by central vigilance commissioner used to recommend names for the CBI director.

The amendments in the DSPE Act are being brought in by the government as there is no recognized LoP in the Lok Sabha. The Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha has emerged as the second largest party after BJP’s 280 but fell short by 11 to stake claim for the LoP’s post for which it requires a minimum strength of 55.

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