The chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has turned down the government’s offer for an extension, The Hindu has learnt.
The decision by the IB chief has come as a surprise to many as the NDA government is known for retaining retired bureaucrats at key posts.
Dineshwar Sharma, a 1979-batch IPS officer of Kerala cadre was appointed in 2014 as Director, IB for a fixed tenure of two years by the NDA 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,” said a senior government official.
Mr Sharma had worked with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval during the latter’s earlier stint as IB chief. Known to keep a low-profile, Mr. Sharma was handpicked by the NDA government to head the IB by superceding two officers.
Mr. Sharma’s decision has come as a surprise to many in the bureaucratic circles as there are many examples of officers seeking post-retirement benefits from the government.
“Even though he has refused an extension, the government can employ him in some other capacity,” said the official.
Race for replacement
The race for the next IB chief has begun with government considering names from within the ranks.
On Friday, the government handed over additional charge of the post of Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) 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 ten years that the investigation agency has been left without a full time chief.
The post of Gujarat DGP is also being headed by IPS officer P.P. Pandey as an additional charge.
Mr. Pandey is an accused in the alleged Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
Last minute decisions
Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978 batch IAS officer was appointed as Union Home Secretary on August 31 last year, hours before he was to superannuate as Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.
Similarly, 1977 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer S. Jaishankar was appointed as 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 1979 batch IPS officer and National Investigation Agency NIA chief Sharad Kumar re-employing him as Director General of the agency.