The Centre is likely to announce the name of next CBI chief soon despite Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, a member of the prime minister-headed selection panel, raising objections to the names proposed during its meeting here Friday, officials said.
During the second meeting of the three-member selection committee, the government is understood to have put forth the names of a few officers who could be considered for the appointment as the CBI Director, they said.
However, these names were objected to by Kharge, the officials said.
Senior IPS officers Javeed Ahmed, Rajni Kant Misra, S S Deswal and Shivanand Jha are said to be among the front-runners for the coveted post.
“The meeting was inconclusive. No decision could be taken during the meeting,” a senior government official said, without citing further details.
The development assumes significance as earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said it was “averse” to the arrangement of an interim CBI Director and the Centre should “immediately” appoint a regular chief of the probe agency.
The post of CBI Director is “sensitive” and “important”, and it is not good to keep an interim director of the agency for longer period, the top court observed and sought to know as to why the government has not made the appointment yet.
The post of the CBI chief has been lying vacant since January 10 after the unceremonious exit of Alok Verma, who had been engaged in a bitter fight with Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana over corruption charges.
Both Verma and Asthana had accused each other of corruption.
M Nageswara Rao has been working as the interim CBI chief after Verma’s ouster.
Friday’s meeting was held at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence — that lasted for over an hour — and attended by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Kharge.
Among the front-runners, Ahmed, a 1984-batch IPS officer, is at present the chief of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences in his cadre state Uttar Pradesh.
Misra, also from the same batch, is head of Border Security Force (BSF).
Deswal, another 1984-batch IPS officer of Haryana cadre, is Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Whereas, Jha, a 1983-batch IPS officer, is at present head of Gujarat police.
The selection panel’s January 24 meeting had also remained inconclusive.
A list of eligible officers along with their dossiers was shared with the panel members in the last meeting.
“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. The next meeting will be convened may be by next week,” Kharge had told reporters after the January 24 meeting.
Verma, after being removed from the post of CBI director by the PM-led panel, was named as the Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards — a less significant portfolio.
Verma did not accept the offer and wrote to the government, saying he should be considered as deemed superannuated as he has completed 60 years age of superannuation on July 31, 2017.
He had taken over as the CBI chief on February 1, 2017 for a fixed two-year tenure that ended Thursday. PTI