Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma to be new CBI Director
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Mr. R. K Asthana, Additional Director and a Gujarat cadre IPS officer, was appointed as interim Director. His appointment was challenged in the Supreme Court by senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan. In accordance with the new rule of appointing CBI Director, a three-member committee, led by Prime Minister Modi, had met earlier this week to pick the new CBI chief. Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are the two other members of the committee. At the meeting, Mr Verma had got two of the three votes -- that of PM Modi and Chief Justice of India JS Khehar. Mr. Kharge had favoured former CBI Special Director R K Dutta for the post on the ground Mr Verma lacked experience in the CBI and in anti-corruption units. In his petition, Mr Bhushan had also supported Mr Dutta's candidature, saying he was the most qualified officer. Mr Dutta had been transferred to the Union Home Ministry.
Mr. Verma is known to be a low-profile officer who believes in doing his job quietly away from the glare of the media. He had succeeded B S Bassi as Delhi Police chief and over the past seven or eight months has maintained a carefully cultivated distance from the media. Though Mr. Verma has not been able to put a brake on crime rate in the national capital, he has been described as a good administrator who took some bold decisions like giving long-pending promotions to Delhi Police middle rung officers like head constables and sub-inspectors. His innings in the CBI will be keenly watched over the next two years as the agency has attracted criticism in handling sensitive anti-corruption cases and also faced accusations of working on the directions of the Central government."