Former CBI chief Ranjit Sinha passed away on Friday. The 68-year-old ex-CBI chief died due to COVID-19 related issues, sources of various news portal state. According to news agency ANI, Mr. Sinha was found positive for COVID-19 on 14th April, 2021, and one day later, passed away at around 4.30 AM. A close relative of Mr. Sinha was quoted by Hindustan Times saying, “He showed no serious symptoms”.
Ranjit Sinha, 1974 batch retired IPS officer, who held various senior posts including that of CBI director and DG ITBP, passed away today around 4:30 am in Delhi.
(File photo) pic.twitter.com/58GKPE2PvP
— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 2021
Born in Jamshedpur, Mr. Sinha took his education and training for being a geologist from Patna University. However, at 21, he pivoted and instead of working as a geologist, joined Indian Police Service’s (IPS) Bihar cadre. Mr. Sinha is survived by a daughter and a son. Mr. Sinha’s daughter is married to a Chhattisgarh based IAS officer while his son is based outside India and pursuing a career in law.
In his career spanning 4 decades, he won multiple awards such as the Indian Police Medal of Meritorious Service, the President Police Medal for Distinguished Service and DG’s commendation discs in CRPF and ITBP Force.
In the initial stages of his career as a Superintendent of Police, Ranchi, Mr. Sinha worked to curb communal violence incidents, international border related crimes and other law and order issues in Ranchi, Sahasra and Madhubani districts.
Later, when India and Pakistan started a bus service between the countries, he took part in counter terror operations as he was promoted to the Inspector General in Kashmir.
After garnering experience as an Inspector General where he oversaw several counter terror operations, he was appointed as the DG (Director General) of Railway Protection Force. During his tenure as the Railway Protection Force’s DG, Mr. Sinha trained commando units, oversaw training of bomb disposal squads, formed multiple swift reaction teams that would protect railway stations from terror strikes. He oversaw these counter-terrorism activities after the 2008 Mumbai Attacks shook Maharashtra and the nation.
Later, Mr. Manmohan Singh, the then PM of India, appointed Mr. Sinha as the new Central Bureau of Investigation chief. The decision was widely debated as Mr. Sinha’s appointment came as a surprise to the stake holders in the matter. Mr. Ranjit Sinha was chosen over the then National Investigation Agency Director Sharad Sinha and Uttar Pradesh’s Director General Atul. Both of whom were recommended by the Central Vigilance Commission.
The then opposition party BJP opposed UPA’s decision of appointing Mr. Sinha as the CBI chief. The BJP in its protest stated that the UPA government didn’t follow the collegium system that was in place for such decisions. The then DG of Delhi Police, Neeraj Kumar, also approached the Supreme Court as his name was not included in the Central Vigilance Commission. However, later Mr. Kumar withdrew his PIL.
Mr. Sinha was involved in various controversies. In 1996, Mr. Sinha was accused of rushing the Fodder Scam case to help his acquaintance Lalu Prasad Yadav who was the accused in the case. He was criticized by Indian media and masses alike for carrying out transfer orders for all crucial officers that were investigating the scam. However, the transfer orders were later cancelled by the apex court.
In April 2013, on the request of the top court, Mr. Sinha submitted an affidavit in which he stated how the draft investigative report was evaluated by Ashwani Kumar, Law Minister. Due to this there was a widespread outrage among people that the matter undermined the independence of CBI. It was during this matter that he earned the title of “caged parrot that speaks in master’s voice” by the Supreme Court.