Millennium Post

Salim Ali likely to be next NIA boss, decks cleared for Sinha to join NHRC

After a brief controversy which had erupted on the appointment of National Investigating Agency (NIA) chief S C Sinha as a member of National Human Rights Council (NHRC), Sinha on Monday was relieved from his previous assignment and is expected to join NHRC by Tuesday.

Sources in the NIA said that the name of special director in Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) Salim Ali is doing rounds for the next NIA chief.

On 30 March, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has opposed the government’s reported move to appoint NIA chief S C Sinha as a member of NHRC, saying the party disfavours any retired bureaucrat or senior police official in any post of the national human rights body.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley had told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that they are opposed to Sinha’s appointment, sources said.

While BJP maintained that government wants to appoint to these key posts those bureaucrats and senior police officials who were close to the administration, sources said the opposition’s main reservations about Sinha are due to the fact that he had allegedly held RSS responsible for ‘Hindu terror’.

BJP had earlier opposed retired CBI Chief A P Singh’s appointment to NHRC despite several requests and informal meetings of UPA ministers with Swaraj and Jaitley. Singh was later appointed as a member of UPSC.

After all this, this immediate joining of Sinha as member NHRC is a surprise. ‘It happened in such a hurry. We didn’t expect this,’ an NIA official said. Sinha had taken Voluntary Retirement Scheme VRS earlier and will now join NHRC with an extension of five years in his service. He was to retire this otherwise.
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