The controversy over Ranjit Sinha’s appointment as the new CBI chief took a turn for the worse on Friday, with senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley demanding that the decision be “revisited” and “kept in abeyance”.
The BJP leaders wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying it was disappointing that the government had made the appointment just hours before the select committee report on the lokpal bill was submitted to the Rajya Sabha. The PM has turned down the demand.
Since the report asked for CBI chief's appointment by a collegium, the letter said, “We must record our strong disappointment and disapproval of this act of the government.”
But minister of state for personnel V Narayanasamy claimed the appointment was “fair”, saying Sinha was the senior most among the three officers shortlisted by the Central Vigilance Commission.
He said, the Prime Minister decided on Sinha as he was the senior most 1974 batch officer. “Where is the question of unfairness in this?” Narayanasamy asked, dubbing the BJP as an irresponsible opposition that didn't allow Parliament to function.
The government, however, got some relief as Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar - who had, as reported by HT, dragged the government to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) - withdrew his petition on Friday.
Kumar had alleged that he had been unfairly overlooked for the CBI chief's post because an official he had arrested for bribery accused him of criminal intimidation.