Ashwini Kumar named new CBI chief (Lead)

August 1st, 2008 - 12:10 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Aarushi Talwar

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Top cop of Himachal Pradesh Ashwini Kumar was Thursday appointed the new chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He takes over the reins of country’ top investigative agency at a time when the CBI has been accused by the opposition of manipulating cases at the government’s will. CBI chief Vijay Shanker superannuated Thursday.

Kumar, a 1973 batch Indian Police Service official, has served many years in the CBI before taking charge as Himachal Pradesh director general of police.

He was in charge of policy coordination and Interpol in the agency. He also served as superintendent of police and deputy inspector general at CBI.

“Kumar had played a key role in the Abu Salem extradition case. His name was selected out of the panel of three which comprised CBI Special Director M.L. Sharma and Karnataka Police Chief R. Srikumar,” a CBI official said.

As per the procedure, the selection committee, headed by the central vigilance commissioner and including the union home and cabinet secretaries, sends a panel of names from three of the senior most batches of the police service to the government for consideration.

The incumbent CBI director also gives his views on the matter. The panel, this time round, had sent names of officers from the 1971, 1972 and 1973 batches to the government.

The agency in the recent times has been targeted by the opposition for pushing what they alleged to be the government’s agenda.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati has alleged that the CBI was being used in investigating her wealth at the government’s behest.

During outgoing CBI chief Shanker’s tenure, the agency handled cases like Mecca Masjid blast, Malegaon blast and Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj double murders.

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