PM-led panel clears shortlisted names, CBI to get chief soon
The high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on Friday and cleared shortlisted names for the next chief of Central Bureau of Investigation, reports claimed. An announcement for the same is expected soon. Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court chastised the Centre over the delay and asked why a regular director wasn't appointed for the federal agency. Here are more details.
Besides PM Modi, the panel comprises CJI Ranjan Gogoi and leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge. The Friday meeting which lasted for more than an hour at PM Modi's residence was their second meeting in ten days. They met for the first time on January 24, but it remained 'inconclusive' Kharge was reportedly disappointed with the suggested names.
"The government presented names of 70-80 officers. There was no mention of their career details including relevant experience. We (referring to CJI Gogoi) have asked them to provide all the necessary details," Kharge had said after the first meeting.
Javeed Ahmed, Rajni Kant Misra, SS Deswal and Shivanand Jha are among the frontrunners. Ahmed, a 1984-batch IPS officer, is chief of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences in Uttar Pradesh. Misra, the head of BSF, also belongs to the same batch. Deswal is also a 1984-batch IPS officer who is currently the director-general of ITBP. Jha, a 1983-batch IPS, heads Gujarat police.
An SC bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha on Friday asked why a regular chief of CBI wasn't appointed yet. The bench opined the post is a sensitive one and the Centre should have made a decision by now since it was well known the former CBI boss was retiring on January 31. Currently, CBI is headed by M Nageshwar Rao.
The post of CBI chief has been vacant since January 10 after PM Modi led high-powered committee removed Alok Verma. Verma became CBI's director on February 1, 2017, for a fixed two-year tenure which ended on Thursday. The panel gave him a less significant position and made him the Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defense and Home Guards. But Verma chose to resign.
The feud between Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, the former special director of CBI, led to turmoil in the premier investigative agency. Both accused one another of corruption and in October '18 the government divested them of their powers. Verma was reinstated to the post by SC. Notably, Delhi HC refused to cancel FIR against Asthana and ordered CBI to complete probe soon.