Bengaluru: The Central Bureau of Investigation has appointed Rupal Kumar Dutta, additional director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to head the 2G spectrum scam probe. The decision came after Supreme Court’s order asking the CBI chief Ranjit Sinha to recuse from 2G scam investigation and prosecution.
Sinha attended the office on Friday, even though the demand for his resignation and suspension, even from some of his predecessors grew louder after the SC decision.
A 1981-batch IPS officer from the Karnataka cadre, Dutta is the overall in-charge of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the agency which is probing the 2G cases.
“As per the directions of the Supreme Court of India, Director CBI has recused himself from the investigation and prosecution of the case relating to 2G spectrum allocation. As directed, RKDutta, Additional Director, who is the senior-most officer of the investigating team in the case, will henceforth be overall in-charge of the case,” read the CBI statement issued on Friday evening.
SC bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu on Thursday refused to pass an elaborate order on the issue, stating that it would “tarnish” the “image and reputation” of the premier investigating agency.
The SC order has also put a question mark on Sinha’s continuation as the agency chief. Sources in the Home ministry stated that the best option for Sinha is to go on leave on his own, so that government may not have to initiate any action for his replacement. He is retiring on December 2, this year.
A panel including Home secretary, the secretary of the Department of personnel and the Chief vigilance commissioner recommended name of Sinha as the agency chief in 2012 after which he was appointed by the Prime minister.
Interestingly, the then opposition leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley had opposed the appointment and written a strong letter to Prime minister Manmohan Singh. “We must record our strong disappointment and disapproval of this act of the government,” the letter read.
After the enactment of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act in January this year the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, which governs the functioning of the investigation agency, were changed including the requirement of consultation with the outgoing CBI director in the selection process.
According to the Lokpal Act, the selection of the CBI chief has to be done by a committee headed by the Prime minister, and comprising the LoP in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge nominated by him as members. As of now there is no recognized LoP in Lok Sabha.
Now, BJP led NDA government, which has largely remained silent on the issue may have to amend the act during the winter session of the parliament starting on November 24.
Dutta, a BTech from IIT Kanpur and MBA from Swinburne University in Australia, has held several important positions in anti-corruption, training and other divisions/zones of the CBI from 1988 to 1996 and 2000 to 2006.
He has also held the posts of Joint Director, DIG and SP. He has been associated with the investigation of a number of sensitive cases, including those entrusted to the Centre Bureau of Investigation by the Supreme Court and high courts that have ended in conviction of the accused persons.
Dutta has held various positions in Karnataka as Superintendent of Police (Karwar and Davangere), DIG Intelligence, Security Vigilance and Northern Range and IG North Eastern Range.
He has also served as Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) and also as ADGP in Karnataka Lokayukta. Dutta has been awarded the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service.