Ranjit Sinha

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Ranjit Sinha
Ranjit Sinha IPS.jpg
Central Bureau of Investigation
Born (1953-03-27) 27 March 1953 (age 61)[1]
Place of birth Jamshedpur, Bihar
Country  India
Years of service 1974 - current
Awards Indian Police Medal of Meritorious Service
President Police Medal for Distinguished Service
DG's commendation discs in CRPF and ITBP Force.[2]
Alma mater Patna University[1]
Indian Institute of Public Administration[3]

Ranjit Sinha (born 27 March 1953) is an Indian Police Service officer of the 1974 batch and the current Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation. He was the Director General of Police of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Director General of the Railway Protection Force before joining as the CBI Director in December 2012 for a two-year tenure. He has also served in senior positions in the CBI in Patna and Delhi.

He has also worked in Central Reserve Police Force as IG (Operations) in Srinagar and IG (Personnel) in Delhi. Sinha had earlier held important positions in CBI including the post of Joint Director and Deputy Inspector General. He has been associated with the investigations of a number of sensitive and important cases of national and international ramification. He was selected based on the procedure laid down by CVC Act 2003 and has a tenure of two years.He was selected by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

Ranjit has to co-ordinate between different anti corruption bureaus, Income Tax Department and the CVC in fighting corruption with the main responsibility of administering the CBI. When his appointment was announced, the Bharatiya Janata Party had questioned the manner in which the 1974 batch IPS officer was appointed to head the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the Congress-led government.

Early life[edit]

Sinha was born in Jamshedpur and trained to be a geologist from the Patna University[1] but joined the Bihar cadre of the Indian Police Service (IPS) when he was 21 years old.[4] He is married to Reena, daughter of an IPS officer, Gajendra Narain.He has one daughter and one son [5][6] The daughter is married to an IAS officer of Chhatisgarh cadre, the son is pursuing career in law abroad .[7]

Career[edit]

He dealt with communal strifes, law and order issues and crime related to international border while posted as superintendent of police in Ranchi, Madhubani and Saharsa districts in the early part of his career.[8] He was also involved in counter terror operations as the Inspector General (Operations) in the Kashmir Valley when the bus service between India and Pakistan was started in 2005,[8][9] and the additional director-general of the Indo-Tibetan Border Force.[10] He worked as the Director General of the Railway Protection Force from November 14, 2008 to May 19, 2011,[11] where he raised commando units,[12][13][14] bomb disposal squads, quick reaction teams to protect railway stations from terror strikes after the 2008 Mumbai attacks[7] After having served as the heads of the Railway Protection Force and the ITBP, he was selected as the Director CBI in November 2012.[8] He had earlier served in the CBI for 11 years before being appointed its Director.[10] He took over as Director CBI from his batchmate , who was junior to him in inter se seniority.[15]

Appointment as CBI Chief[edit]

The Prime Minister of India chose Ranjit Sinha as the CBI chief over Sharad Sinha, the Director, National Investigation Agency and Atul , Director General, Uttar Pradesh who were recommended by the Central Vigilance Commission as he was senior to the other two. However, the Bhartiya Janata Party objected to his appointment, protesting that the Government had not followed the collegium system that it had approved and that was part of the Lokpal Bill which was waiting to be passed by the Parliament.[16][17] The Director General of Delhi Police, Neeraj Kumar, who had brilliantly cracked important cases during his 9 years in the CBI, went to court against the non inclusion of his name in the panel prepared by the CVC, but later withdrew his case.[18][19]

The Fodder Scam case[edit]

In 1996, as a DIG in the CBI under the Joint Director (East), UN Biswas, he was accused of scuttling the investigation to help protect the accused, Lalu Prasad Yadav in the Fodder Scam case. UN Biswas was the chief investigator into the case, whose progress was being monitored by the Patna High Court, and was asked by the court to file a report on the case. The original harsh report by Biswas was swapped with a toned down one authored by Sinha by the then Director CBI, Joginder Singh and submitted to the court. When the court asked why the submitted report did not carry details of the original charges, Biswas admitted before the court that the report had been changed by the CBI Director and that the original report was more damaging. The court indicted the CBI and ordered that Sinha be removed from the case. Later, Sinha, Biswas and other CBI officers apologized to the Privilege Committee Council of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, which decided to drop a privilege proceedings against them for lodging a complaint against them to the High Court. Earlier, his father-in-law as the Director General Vigilance was accused of scuttling initial investigations into the Fodder Scam but the accusations could not be substantiated. Sinha was then posted to Bihar Bhawan in New Delhi against a specially created post by Lalu Yadav.[4][5][6][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

After taking over as the CBI Director, he transferred out four crucial officers investigating the Fodder Scam after obtaining consent of the Jharkhand High Court, but the orders were later cancelled by the Supreme Court of India following filing of a PIL.[6][28]

Problems with Mamta Banerjee[edit]

As the head of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Sinha objected to Mamta Banerjee continuing to be provided protection by the RPF commandos, even after she quit as the Railway minister and became the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Banerjee did not take to these objections kindly and got Sinha replaced as the RPF head in May 2011. He was posted in September 2011 as the Director General of the ITBP.[8]

He admitted to the controversy, stating:

First of all I completed my tenure in the RPF on May 19, 2011 and Mamata Banerjee became West Bengal chief minister on May 20, 2011. So I remained in the RPF till Mamta Banerjee was the railway minister. But I had my share of problems. Mamata wanted Bangla to be one of the languages for the exam for recruitment the RPF constables. She didn’t like when I said according to rules only Hindi and English are recognised languages for the exam. Besides, she employed RPF guards for her security during election campaign in West Bengal. I was ticked by the MHA as it was not part of the RPF mandate. I showed the temerity to tell her that also.[29]

Coalgate Draft Report Controversy[edit]

In April 2013, on the behest of the Supreme Court of India, as the CBI director, he submitted an affidavit stating that the draft investigative report on the Indian coal allocation scam was vetted by the Law minister Ashwani Kumar before it was submitted to the court.[30] There was widespread outrage in India on this issue as it undermined the autonomy of the CBI. Observing this the Supreme Court scathingly criticized the UPA government, for its meddling with the report, and the CBI, for behaving like a caged parrot that speaks in its master's voice.[31] Sinha has confirmed the comments of the Supreme Court as being correct.[32][33][34][35][36][37]

As a fallout, Ashwani Kumar was sacked as the Law minister. On May 6, 2013, the Supreme Court asked the government to bring a law before July 10, 2013 to insulate the CBI from external influence and intrusion. Hurriedly, the government set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) under the Finance minister P. Chidambaram to work on the details for implementing the court's order. Sinha appreciated the court's order and stated that he had become a catalyst of sorts in making CBI autonomous.[38][39] He also said that it is a lifetime opportunity for him to try and improve the working of the CBI.[29]

The Rail bribery case[edit]

In 2013, the CBI busted a cash-for-posts scandal in the Indian Railways that led to the resignation of Pawan Kumar Bansal.[40] However, it was also reported that Sinha had held a grudge against Mahesh Kumar, and ordered his phone to be tapped that led to the case being busted.[41][42][43]

Sinha appreciated the work by his sleuths stating that they just had the slightest of leads and were able to crack the case.[44] Later, Sinha declared that there was no evidence linking the minister to the scam,[45][46] which was protested against by the BJP.[47] Sinha ordered a fresh review of all high-level appointments and high-value contracts during the tenures of railway ministers from Mamta Banerjee to Pawan Kumar Bansal.[48]

The railway police association accused Sinha of having a grudge against all railway officials who had complained against him to the Central Vigilance Commission regarding his corrupt ways when he was the Director General of the Railway Protection Force. This was however, refuted by the CBI.[49]

Talking about the charges by the railway police association, he has defended himself by stating:

I had taken on vested interest in the RPF. They came up with a booklet leveling all sorts of allegations against me but the union home ministry didn’t find anything against me. I raised objections on retired officials serving in the association. One of my subordinates also became part of the problem and circulated lots of rubbish about me.[29]

Political links[edit]

He is seen to be close to Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo, who kept the post of the Director General of the Railway Protection Force unfilled for three months till Sinha was appointed to the post.[4]

He also accepted that he is friends with Yadav, stating that Lalu was his boss both in the state of Bihar and the Indian Railways and hence, they have good interpersonal relations.[29]

He has defended himself stating:

I had asked the CBI headquarter to post me outside of Patna. Being a Bihar cadre officer I didn’t want to get associated with fodder scam probe. But nobody listened to me. It was very confusing time. The centre was weak and Lalu was a powerful regional satrap. Bihar was totally divided on the caste lines. I was made a villain by my powerful enemies in the state despite the monitoring bench of the Patna high court not even once making an adverse remark against me. I still believe things went little overboard during the investigation in the fodder scam due to some seniors who assiduously cultivated larger than life image.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "BIO-DATA OF SHRI RANJIT SINHA, DIRECTOR GENERAL/RPF". Indian Railways. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  2. ^ "Bihar cadre IPS officer Ranjit Sinha appointed as new CBI chief". CNN. Nov 22, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  3. ^ "Senior IPS officer Ranjit Sinha is the next CBI Director". India Today. November 22, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  4. ^ a b c "Lalu case rap only bump in 40-yr career of new CBI chief". The Indian Express. Nov 24, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  5. ^ a b "New director almost exonerated Lalu". Nov 23, 2012. Deccan Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  6. ^ a b c "Sinha’s fodder probe questioned". 4 May 2013. The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  7. ^ a b "Newsmaker: Ranjit Sinha". Business Standard. November 30, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Ranjit Sinha gears up for second stint in CBI". Rediff. November 30, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  9. ^ "Reporters' log: Kashmir bus". BBC News. 7 April 2005. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  10. ^ a b "Ranjit Sinha to take over ITBP chief". The Hindustan Times. August 31, 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  11. ^ "CBI writes to Railway Board against retired RPF officer". First Post (India). May 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  12. ^ "RPF to raise three commando battalions". The Hindu. Jul 19, 2009. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  13. ^ "Standing Order No. 107". Indian Railways. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  14. ^ "Mamata Banerjee announces a new award to RPF personnel for serving with human face". PIB. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  15. ^ "Ranjit Sinha ignored for top CBI post in 2010". The Times of India. Nov 26, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  16. ^ "BJP objects to Sinha being new CBI chief". The Hindu. November 23, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  17. ^ Sanyal, Prasad (November 23, 2012). "Row over CBI director's appointment; BJP writes to Prime Minister". NDTV. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  18. ^ "Ram Jethmalani drags in Arun Jaitley into top cops CAT fight". The Economic Times. Nov 28, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  19. ^ "ITBP DG Ranjit Sinha to be new CBI chief". The Times of India. Nov 23, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  20. ^ Dutta, Priyadarshi (April 27, 2013). "A CBI Director’s shady past". Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  21. ^ "Enough fodder on Sinha’s past". Tehelka. November 30, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  22. ^ "CBI director Ranjit Sinha: Accidental hero or insecure careerist?". First Post (India). May 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  23. ^ "Cbi Blasted For Scuttling Fodder Scam Probe". Business Standard. October 5, 1996. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  24. ^ K.C. Brahmachary (2004). We And Our Administration. Mittal Publications. p. 84. ISBN 978-81-7099-916-4. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Cbi Chief Served Showcause In Fodder Scam". Business Standard. March 29, 1997. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  26. ^ "Modi urges removal of 'tainted' police officers". The Times of India. Jul 21, 2001. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  27. ^ "Privilege move against CBI in fodder scam dropped". The Financial Express (India). June 7, 1997. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  28. ^ "SC stays transfer of scam probe officers". Indian Express. May 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  29. ^ a b c d e "'Things have turned worse in 39 years of my service'". Hindustan Times. May 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  30. ^ "Coal-Gate: Affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by CBI Director". The Indian Express. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 26 (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/shared-coal-status-report-with-law-minister-cbi-chief-tells-sc/1108326/%7Caccessdate=26) April 2013. 
  31. ^ "CBI has become a caged parrot with many masters. What a sordid story, says Supreme Court : India, News - India Today". Indiatoday.intoday.in. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  32. ^ PTI (2013-05-05). "Whatever SC says is correct: CBI chief". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  33. ^ "Ranjit Sinha takes over as CBI director". The Times of India. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  34. ^ "ITBP DG Ranjit Sinha to be new CBI chief". The Times of India. 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  35. ^ "Central Bureau Of Investigation". Cbi.nic.in. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  36. ^ "Ranjit Sinha's statement on taking over as the new CBI Director". NDTV.com. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  37. ^ "Ranjit Sinha, Senior IPS Officer Took Over As CBI Director". Jagranjosh.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  38. ^ "CBI Chief Ranjit Sinha welcomes moves to free agency from external influence". 15 May 2013. Sahara Samay. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  39. ^ "Autonomy must come with a rider: Ranjit Sinha". The Hindustan Times. May 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  40. ^ "India Railway Minister Resigns". The Wall Street Journal. May 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  41. ^ "Mahesh Kumar complained about Ranjit Sinha". The Guardian. 11 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  42. ^ "Bansal refuses to quit despite revelations that CBI tracked nephew Singla and Kumar in three-month investigation". Daily Mail. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  43. ^ "Collateral Clean-Up". OPEN (Indian magazine). May 18, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  44. ^ "CBI chief Ranjit Sinha's roadmap to unshackle agency from five govt entities". India Today. May 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  45. ^ "Rail bribe case: No evidence against Bansal yet, says CBI chief". First Post (India). May 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  46. ^ "No evidence against Pawan Bansal in Railway bribery case: CBI". Headlines Today. May 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  47. ^ "BJP objects to CBI chief Ranjit Sinha's clean chit to P K Bansal". The Economic Times. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  48. ^ "Scrutinising all major appointments in the railway ministry: CBI Director". The Economic Times. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  49. ^ "CBI chief Ranjit Sinha under fire for 'acting out of vendetta'". The Times of India. May 16, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16.