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27 March 1953 |
Jamshedpur(Now in Jharkhand) Bihar
|Alma mater||Patna University
Indian Institute of Public Administration
|Awards||Indian Police Medal of Meritorious Service
President Police Medal for Distinguished Service
DG's commendation discs in CRPF and ITBP Force.
|Department||Central Bureau of Investigation|
|Years of service||1974 - 2014|
Ranjit Sinha (born 27 March 1953) is an Indian Police Service officer of the 1974 batch and was the former 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 had a tenure of two years.He was selected by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
Ranjit had 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
Sinha was born in Jamshedpur and trained to be a geologist from the Patna University but joined the Bihar cadre of the Indian Police Service (IPS) when he was 21 years old. He is married to Reena, daughter of an IPS officer, Gajendra Narain.He has one daughter and one son  The daughter is married to an IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, the son is pursuing career in law abroad .
He was born and raised in Patna. His father Mr. N. S. Sinha worked with the Bihar State Government and retired as Commissioner Sales Tax. His mother's name is Madhuri Sinha and currently stays in Rajender Nagar in Patna. He has three siblings with the eldest sister Sarojini Sinha married to 1968 batch IRS officer Mr P.K. Sinha. Two younger brothers Anand Sinha and Anjani Sinha
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. 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, and the additional director-general of the Indo-Tibetan Border Force. He worked as the Director General of the Railway Protection Force from November 14, 2008 to May 19, 2011, where he raised commando units, bomb disposal squads, quick reaction teams to protect railway stations from terror strikes after the 2008 Mumbai attacks After having served as the heads of the Railway Protection Force and the ITBP, he was selected as the Director CBI in November 2012. He had earlier served in the CBI for 11 years before being appointed its Director. He took over as Director CBI from his batchmate, who was junior to him in inter se seniority.
Appointment as CBI Chief
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. 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.
Controversies and Allegations
The Fodder Scam case
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.
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.
Problems with Mamata Banerjee
As the head of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Sinha objected to Mamata 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.
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 Mamata 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.||”|
Coalgate Draft Report Controversy
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. 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. Sinha has confirmed the comments of the Supreme Court as being correct.
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. He also said that it is a lifetime opportunity for him to try to improve the working of the CBI.
The Rail bribery case
In 2013, the CBI busted a cash-for-posts scandal in the Indian Railways that led to the resignation of Pawan Kumar Bansal. 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.
Sinha appreciated the work by his sleuths stating that they just had the slightest of leads and were able to crack the case. Later, Sinha declared that there was no evidence linking the minister to the scam, which was protested against by the BJP. Sinha ordered a fresh review of all high-level appointments and high-value contracts during the tenures of railway ministers from Mamata Banerjee to Pawan Kumar Bansal.
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.
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.||”|
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.
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.
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.||”|
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