The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee to appoint a new CBI director is likely to meet on January 24 to look for ousted chief Alok Verma’s replacement. Besides PM Modi, the other members in the committee are the Chief Justice of India and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
The government had proposed to hold the meeting on January 21 but was shifted to January 24 upon Kharge’s request, PTI quoted sources as saying. The post of the CBI director has been lying vacant since January 10 after the high-powered committee decided to oust Verma as CBI Director over corruption charges. Verma’s two-year tenure was to end on January 31.
IPS officer M Nageswara Rao was named the interim director of the CBI. On Tuesday, Kharge wrote to the PM, calling the appointment of Rao as interim Director of the agency “illegal” and also asked for the immediate convening of the selection committee to appoint a new CBI chief without further delay.
In the letter, Kharge, the lone dissenting voice in the January 10 meeting, said that the committee “chose to take a decision based on a report that now stands disowned by Justice Patnaik who was asked by the Supreme Court to monitor the CVC’s inquiry”.
The Union Home Ministry has already firmed up a list of 17 seniormost IPS officers from the 1983, 1984 and 1985 batches to succeed Verma and it has been sent to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to be checked for “seniority, integrity, and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases”.
The final panel will consist of three names, which will be sent to the search committee. Among the top contenders for the post is NIA DG YC Modi, an IPS officer from Assam and Meghalaya cadre and was part of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that probed the 2002 Gujarat riots.