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Protest over CBI boss

New Delhi, Nov. 23: The BJP today has objected to the appointment of Bihar IPS officer Ranjit Sinha as the CBI director, citing a recommendation by a Rajya Sabha panel on Lokpal that the selection be made by a collegium.

The party demanded that Sinha’s appointment be kept in abeyance.

The Rajya Sabha Select Committee report on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2011 was tabled in the Upper House today amid protests by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) over its demand for reservation in promotions for SC and ST employees.

The Opposition’s principal objection is driven by one of the recommendations in the report that states that the director will be appointed by “a collegium comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India”. For now, the final decision of appointing the director rests with the Prime Minister alone.

In this case, Sinha’s appointment was made from a panel of three officers decided by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). Minister for personnel and training V. Narayanasamy argued that the current director, A.P. Singh, retires on November 30 and a new chief needs to take over well in advance. He said the process is well-defined and the senior-most officer on the panel was selected by the Prime Minister.

The BJP wants the government to call off the appointment. “This is a matter on record that hours before this recommendation was tabled on the floor of the Rajya Sabha, the government has chosen to appoint a new CBI director for a period of two years,” said a BJP statement.

The Opposition said the manner in which the appointment was made led it to conclude that the government wants to “pre-empt the possibility of this recommendation at least in the present appointment”.

NIA director-general S.C. Sinha and another officer, Atul Kumar, have lost the race but so have other potentials like Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar.