Delhi Police commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, a 1979 batch Indian Police Service officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, has been appointed the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), an official said on Jan 19, 2017.His appointment as the CBI director is his 24th posting in his 36-year career as a police officer.Though originally slated to retire on July 31 this year, Verma will get a fixed tenure of two years as the CBI chief . He has no prior experience of working in the CBI.Verma was one of the front runners for the CBI director’s post and has been the Delhi Police chief for the last 11 months. The government will have to appoint a new Delhi police commissioner. Two 1984 batch IPS officers of Union Territories cadre — Deepak Mishra and Dharmedra Kumar — are top contenders for the post.
The post of the director of the country’s premier probe agency was vacant for over a month following Anil Sinha’s retirement on December 2. Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana was acting as the interim director of the agency.A three-member committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi selected Verma as the CBI chief. The selection committee had Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Chief Justice of India, or his nominee, as its other members.Sources said there was no consensus on the name of Verma as new CBI chief in the selection panel, as Kharge gave a dissent note.As a pre-requisite for appointment as the CBI chief, the officer needs to have a prior experience of working in the CBI or he or she should have handled vigilance work in their parent cadre. Verma was handled vigilance work late in his career between February 1, 2011 and February 16, 2012 as a special commissioner of police in Delhi.
A list of about 45 eligible IPS officers was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for consideration as the next CBI director. The names of senior IPS officers Krishna Choudhary, Aruna Bahuguna and Mathur, among others ,were doing the rounds as strong contenders for the top post.One of the senior most officers in the country today, Verma was earlier the director general of Tihar prisons and the police chief of Mizoram.He has also served as the joint and special commissioner of the Delhi Police crime branch between August 2007 and December 2008. Verma’s tenure as police chief till now has been without any controversy.Senior police officers say though many Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs have been arrested during Verma’s tenure, the ruling party hasn’t vociferously accused him of working for his political bosses.