IB Director says ‘no’ to extension

December 04, 2016 12:44 am | Updated 12:48 am IST - New Delhi:

The chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has turned down the government’s offer for an extension, The Hindu has learnt.

The decision has come as a surprise to many as the government is known for retaining retired bureaucrats at key posts.

Dineshwar Sharma, a 1979-batch IPS officer of the Kerala cadre, was appointed IB Director in 2014 for a fixed tenure of two years by the present government. He retires on December 31.

“He was offered an extension, but he turned it down. The government was keen that he continues in service,” a senior official said.

When National Security Adviser Ajit Doval was the IB chief, Mr. Sharma had worked with him. Known to keep a low profile, Mr. Sharma was hand-picked by the government to head the IB by superseding two officers.

Mr. Sharma’s decision has come as a surprise to many in the bureaucratic circles as officers are known to seek post-retirement benefits from the government.

“Though he has refused an extension, the government can employ him in some other capacity,” the official said.

The race for the next IB chief has begun with the government considering names from within the ranks.

On Friday, the government handed over additional charge of the post of Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, to Rakesh Asthana, a Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, currently its additional director.

Mr. Asthana was appointed following the superannuation of Anil Kumar Sinha on Friday.

This is the first time in 10 years that the investigation agency has been left without a full-time chief.

In another interim arrangement, the post of Director-General of Police, Gujarat, is being held by P.P. Pandey as additional charge.

Mr. Pandey is an accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.

Last-minute decisions

Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978-batch IAS officer was appointed Union Home Secretary on August 31 last year, hours before he was to superannuate as Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.

Similarly, a 1977-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, S. Jaishankar, was appointed Foreign Secretary on January 29, 2015, two days before he was to retire as Indian Ambassador to the U.S.

He replaced Sujatha Singh, whose tenure was cut short by eight months.

Last month, the government gave a second extension of one year to Sharad Kumar, a 1979-batch IPS officer heading the National Investigation Agency, re-employing him as Director-General of the agency.

Mr. Kumar was appointed as NIA chief in July 2013 by the then UPA government. He superannuated in 2014 but has been given an extension twice.

A notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training says the over-riding consideration for the grant of extension of service/re-employment is that it must be clearly in the public interest and in addition satisfy one of the following two conditions — that other officers are not ripe enough to take over the job or that the retiring officer is of outstanding merit.”

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