With the time to select new CBI chief approaching fast, the government is yet to spell out a clearly laid-down process for choosing the successor to incumbent Ranjit Sinha who retires on December 2.
The Lokpal Act said a panel consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha will select the CBI director. However, according to sources, the government has decided to amend the Delhi special police establishment (DSPE) act that governs the working of the agency, to bring the leader of largest party in opposition in the selection panel in place of leader of opposition.
But there are two more issues that are yet to be sorted out.
Before the Lokpal Act was passed, a panel of three IPS officers selected from top four working batches and having experience in the CBI or anti-corruption work, was sent to the cabinet committee on appointments for final selection as the CBI chief.
“The Lokpal Act is silent on the number of officers whose names are to be sent to the selection committee. Therefore, the names of all eligible DG-rank IPS officers — more than half a dozen — will have to be sent,” said a senior IPS officer at the Centre on condition of anonymity.
Sources also say there is confusion over considering 1980 batch IPS officers for the selection.
“The top four working IPS batches consist of 1976-1979. But in the 1976 batch, there are only two officers yet to retire but both are not eligible to hold a DG-level post at the Centre… thus ruling out the batch. In this case, the government will have to take a call on including the 1980 batch officers in the race,” said the official. This will bring about a dozen officials in the fray for the post.