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Atal clears Mishra as CBI chief

New Delhi, Dec. 1: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today cleared the appointment of special director Uma Shan-kar Mishra as the new director of the CBI.

Mishra will replace P.C. Sharma on December 6, when the latter retires.

A 1968-batch IPS officer of the Orissa cadre, Mishra had taken over as special director of the agency last year.

The Prime Minister okayed Mishra’s candidature for the post this morning after the appointment’s committee of the cabinet cleared his name from a list of four IPS officers, including Central Reserve Police Force director-general S.C. Chaube and special secretary in the Union home ministry B.B. Mishra.

Earlier, a panel comprising central vigilance commissioner P. Shanker, Union home secretary . Gopalaswami and cabinet secretary Kamal Pande had shortlisted these four officers out of 11 names.

The Prime Minister’s Office was reportedly pushing for Uma Shankar Mishra’s name even as he fitted into the guidelines fixed by the Supreme Court in the hawala case regarding the appointment of the CBI director.

According to the apex court’s guidelines, it is mandatory for a CBI director to have worked in the agency or state vigilance departments so as to have enough knowledge in handling corruption cases.

With Mishra’s elevation to the top slot, there will be vacancies for the two posts of special directors in the CBI.

According to the agency’s hierarchy, there are three posts for special director-level officers. These have been filled either by two special directors and one additional director or vice versa.

Of late, there was only one special director and one additional director, while the third post has been lying vacant for a long time.

Vijay Shanker, the present additional director belonging to the Uttar Pradesh cadre, was empanelled for the special director’s post this year leaving place for two more senior IPS officers, sources said.

A CBI officer said Mishra would like to have his own team at the top rung so that his opinion would be decisive for future appointments in the agency.

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