YC Modi to be new NIA chief. Yes, he has a Gujarat connection as well
The Union government has finally been able to find a cop to head the elite National Investigation Agency. YC Modi will take over from Sharad Kumar as Director, NIA, once the latter completes his second extended tenure on October 31, 2017. In line with a few other high profile appointments, there is little surprise that YC Modi, too, has a Gujarat connection.
From 2010 to 2012, he was part of the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigations Team headed by RK Raghavan which probed cases related to the 2002 Gujarat riots related to the massacres at Naroda Patiya, Naroda Gam, and Gulberg Society, where former MP Ehsan Jafri was brutally killed along with several others.
In an earlier stint with the CBI, Modi investigated the Haren Pandya murder case. The former minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet in Gujarat was gunned down in Ahmedabad.
The High Court, which had acquitted twelve people arrested on charges of being involved in the murder, had come down heavily on the CBI for what it called a botched-up investigation.
Modi, a 1984 batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IPS officer, was serving with the Central Bureau of Investigation as a special director till his appointment as OSD in the NIA on Monday.
During his latest stint with the CBI, he has handled high profile cases including the Sheena Bora murder case, the Agusta Westland corruption scandal, and the Vijay Mallya bank fraud cases. The former was later shifted to the CBI’s special investigations team headed by another additional director RK Asthana, who happens to be from the Gujarat cadre, and was appointed briefly as the acting Director of CBI, till the government had to budge on procedural grounds and appoint a full time head of the apex investigative agency.
Both Asthana and Modi were among the 14 senior police officers who were empaneled as director generals with the Centre, in June this year.
Modi will have almost three and a half year tenure with the NIA unless the government changes its mind. As per the orders of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he will continue to head the agency till May 2021, his year of superannuation from the IPS.
Sharad Kumar, a Haryana cadre IPS officer of the 1979 batch took over as the head of NIA in July 2013, when the UPA 2 government was still in power.
However, the new NDA government showed reluctance to tinker with the senior bureaucracy and administrative setup and he was allowed to continue. Not just that, he was given two one-year extensions on contractual basis, something which invited a lot of criticism.
It was said that Kumar has been given extensions to complete important terror investigations pending with the NIA, including the Pathankot terror attack, the Samjhauta Express attack among others. The NIA is also probing a clutch of cases on alleged Islamic State operatives in India beside the investigations into terror funding in Kashmir.
Kumar had come under fire for allegations that the NIA under him had watered down charges against Hindutva terror accused.