The government on Friday decided to continue with Haryana cadre IPS officer Sharad Kumar as the chief of country’s federal anti-terror probe agency, the National Investigation Agency, by re-employing him ‘on contract basis’ for another year.
A home ministry statement said the appointments committee of the cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with home minister Rajnath Singh as the other member, cleared the proposal to re-employ Kumar as director-general for one year beyond his retirement on Saturday. “I am thankful to the government for reposing faith in me and will continue to discharge my duties to the best of abilities,” said Kumar, after the order.
According to sources, the government wanted continuity at the top in the NIA as its probe against Hindu extremist elements for their role in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case is at the final stage. The probe was stalled for more than three years as some of the accused had challenged the applicability of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case. “Besides, even the trial in the Samjhauta blast case is at an advance stage, with the NIA about to finish submitting its evidence in the special court at Panchkula,” said a senior government official.
Kumar was appointed NIA chief in July 2013, during the UPA regime.
“Though Kumar will no longer remain an IPS officer due to his re-employment with the government on contract basis, he will draw his supervisory power as NIA chief to helm any terror probe under the National Investigation Agency Act enacted in 2008,” said a home ministry official.
One needs to be a police officer to conduct or supervise probe into any offence under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Although the NIA didn’t confirm this, but according to sources the government took into account the recruitment rules for the chief of NIA and made necessary adjustments to give Kumar full financial and probe supervisory powers.