Retired Justice S.N. Srivastava has been appointed as the new chairman of a judicial panel set up to probe alleged irregularities that took place during the previous Congress government in Uttarakhand, officials said here on Thursday.

Mr. Srivastava, who currently heads the police complaint authority, would replace B.C. Kandpal who had expressed his desire to be relieved from the post last week.

In a letter to the state government, Mr. Kandpal, who also holds the post of chairman of state consumer dispute redressal commission, had said he wanted the post to be handed over to someone else as he was “overburdened“.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri had set up the inquiry commission in September 2007 to prepare reports on the alleged scams that took place during the previous Congress government in the state.

The Kandpal judicial commission has already completed its probe into 60 out of the total 68 scams and a report has been submitted to the state government.

Mr. Srivastava’s appointment comes at a time when the BJP government has directed the vigilance department to initiate legal action against all those indicted by the inquiry commission in 17 scams, which allegedly took place during the N.D. Tiwari-led Congress government from 2002 to 2007.

These scams include those related to financial irregularities in agriculture, irrigation and forest departments, among others.