The high-powered committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi remained inconclusive on selecting the next CBI Director on Thursday. The committee, which also includes Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, is likely to meet again at a later date, which would be soon finalised.
“A list of eligible officers along with their dossiers was shared with the panel members. But no decision has been taken so far,” PTI quoted an official as saying.
The meeting comes two weeks after Alok Verma was ousted from the post amid a months-long crisis in the probe agency. The CBI chief has a fixed tenure of two years.
Verma, who was engaged in a bitter fight with former CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana over corruption charges, was removed as CBI chief on January 10, barely 48 hours after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court.
In a 2-1 verdict (the lone dissenter being Kharge), the selection committee held that it was against Verma’s continuance as CBI chief in light of the Central Vigilance Commission’s report and “the extremely serious nature of observations made by the CVC against Verma”.
Interestingly, Justice Patnaik, who had been asked by the Supreme Court to supervise the probe against Verma, disowned the CVC findings. The panel had appointed M Nageswara Rao as the CBI interim director.
Verma was given a less significant portfolio of Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. However, Verma denied the offer. He had taken over as the CBI chief on February 1, 2017.
Days after Verma’s removal, Asthana was also moved out from the CBI and handed the charge of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.