The meeting of the Prime Minister-led high-powered committee to select the next CBI chief Thursday ended on an inconclusive note after Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, objected to the lack of background information, including details of career and experience, of the candidates on the list placed before the panel.
Sources said Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi concurred with the view. The committee, sources said, is expected to meet again in the next couple of days. Kharge is learnt to have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convene the meeting before January 31.
”The meeting is postponed because of lack of information supplied. They have not given details about all the six (IPS) batches. Therefore, the matter was raised and the government was asked to furnish all the information,” Kharge told The Indian Express.
Sources said the government placed a list containing names of around 80 officers, in two annexures, belonging to batches from 1980 to 1985. It was a bare list, merely stating who is eligible and who is not, sources said. The first list included the names of some officers from 1980 and 1981 batches, who have all superannuated.
Sources said CJI Gogoi, too, raised the issue of insufficient information to arrive at a considered decision. The list of officers includes 19 from the 1983 batch, 22 from the 1984 batch and 40 officers from the 1985 batch. This, sources said, is in line with the Supreme Court’s guidelines to consider all IPS officers from the three most senior eligible batches for the post.
The committee last met on January 10 and removed Alok Verma as CBI chief in a 2-1 decision, barely 48 hours after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court, citing a report by the Central Vigilance Commission.
Justice A K Sikri, who was asked by CJI Gogoi to represent him, went along with the PM, while Kharge dissented and termed the removal “illegal”.