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Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, ex-Maharashtra top cop who probed Malegaon bombings, Telgi scam is new CBI chief: Here's all you need to know

During a career that has spanned 35 years, Subodh Kumar Jaiswal has been known as a low-profile officer who has donned many hats in Maharashtra and on central deputation.

May 26, 2021 / 08:32 AM IST
Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, 58, is a 1985-batch Indian Police Service officer from Maharashtra cadre.

Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, 58, is a 1985-batch Indian Police Service officer from Maharashtra cadre.

The Centre on May 25 appointed 1985-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Subodh Kumar Jaiswal as the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – India's premier investigative agency.

Jaiswal, 58, is currently serving as the Director General of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) – the paramilitary force primarily tasked to guard major Indian civil airports and vital infrastructure in the aerospace and nuclear domain.

A high-powered panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that met on May 24 had shortlisted names of three IPS officers, including Jaiswal, for the top post before the government issued a final notification announcing his appointment on May 25. Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana, and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary were also part of the panel that met at the prime minister's residence for at least 90 minutes.

The agency has been working without a regular director for over three months. CBI Additional Director Praveen Sinha, a 1988-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, was appointed the acting chief of the agency after Rishi Kumar Shukla completed his two-year tenure on February 3.

Read | CBI director's appointment: Why Rakesh Asthana, YC Modi didn't make the probables' list

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Jaiswal will be at the helm of the CBI for two years, or until further orders. Here's all you need to know about the new CBI chief:

‘Low-profile’ officer and a ‘spymaster’ 

Born on September 22, 1962 in Dhanbad (now in Jharkhand), Jaiswal studied at CMRI branch of the De Nobili School in Jharkhand. He holds a Bachelor's degree in English from DAV College in Chandigarh and an MBA from Panjab University. He joined the Indian Police Service in 1985 at the age of 23 and was allotted the Maharashtra cadre.

During a career that has spanned 35 years, Jaiswal has been known as a low-profile officer who has donned many hats in Maharashtra and on central deputation.

He started his career as an Additional Superintendent of Police, Amravati, Maharashtra in 1986. As the Superintendent of Police in Gadchiroli district of the state, Jaiswal was also known for carrying out successful anti-Naxal operations.

Jaiswal headed the 2003 High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed Abdul Karim Telgi's multi-crore fake stamp paper scam which was later taken over by the CBI. He was then the head of Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force.

He has also served in the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad by virtue of which he was in the team that investigated the 2006 Malegaon bombings, a series of bomb blasts in Maharashtra's Malegaon town.

In his previous assignments, Jaiswal worked with the Special Protection Group (SPG) that secured then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He has had stints in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), the country's external intelligence agency. He was with RA&W for nine years, including three years as an additional secretary.

In 2018, he returned to Mumbai as the Police Commissioner under Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government. A year later in February 2019, he was appointed as Maharashtra’s Director General of Police (DGP).

It was under Jaiswal's supervision as Maharashtra DGP that the Elgaar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon violence cases were investigated before being transferred to the CBI in 2020.

Uneasy relationship with MVA government

In the past few months of his tenure as Maharashtra DGP, disagreements had cropped up between him and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) state government, news reports suggest. He had reportedly opposed the “intense lobbying” by officers for postings with then Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. In CBI, Jaiswal will investigate the corruption charges made by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh against Deshmukh.

Jaiswal was also unhappy with some transfers of IPS officers and had even refused to sign on a transfer list put forward by the government. It was because of these disagreements that Jaiswal sought central deputation last year and joined as CISF chief in December 2020.

Former Maharashtra CM Fadnavis had then alleged that Jaiswal chose a deputation in the central services over his position as state’s police chief as he was frustrated with the Thackeray-led MVA government’s functioning.
Gulam Jeelani is a journalist with over 11 years of reporting experience. Based in New Delhi, he covers politics and governance for Moneycontrol.
first published: May 26, 2021 08:32 am

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