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PM Modi-headed panel meets to decide on CBI chief

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed selection committee met here Friday to decide on the new chief of the country’s premier investigative agency CBI, which is working without a regular director

india Updated: Feb 01, 2019 21:22 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
New Delhi
PM Narendra Modi.
PM Narendra Modi.(AP file photo)
         

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed selection committee met here Friday to decide on the new chief of the country’s premier investigative agency CBI, which is working without a regular director, officials said.

The outcome of the meeting was not immediately known.

This was the second meeting of the panel as its January 24 sitting had remained inconclusive.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are the members of the committee.

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.

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.

Also read | Delay in CBI selection panel meet may rule out senior officer

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.

The tenure of Asthana as the Special Director in the CBI was also curtailed recently and he was posted as the Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

M Nageswara Rao has been working as the interim CBI chief after Verma’s ouster.

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, seeking to know as to why the government has not made the appointment yet.

In the last meeting of the panel, a list of eligible officers along with their dossiers was shared with the panel members.

“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.

Also read | Supreme Court asks Centre why regular CBI director hasn’t been appointed

First Published: Feb 01, 2019 21:21 IST

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