The NDA government is expected to announce the name of the new director of Central Bureau of Intelligence today, putting an end to the controversial tenure of the interim chief M Nageswara Rao. During the Friday's meeting of the selection committee, the government is understood to have put forth a few names of officers who could be considered for appointment as the CBI director, the officials familiar to the information told news agency PTI.
The Centre has reportedly suggested names of three senior IPS officers from 1984 batch:
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Javeed Ahmed - an officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre and current chief of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences
Rajni Kant Misra - Ahmed's cadre and batchmate and current head of the Border Security Force (BSF).
SS Deswal - from Haryana cadre and director general of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
The announcement was likely today even as selection committee's meeting on Friday remained inconclusive. 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.
However, the appointment is unlikely to put an end to the controversy surrounding India's premier intelligence agency. The reports say that appointment is likely to oversee the suggestions and objections made by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, one of the three members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee. Thus, any outcome is likely to irk the Opposition parties. Besides, the tumultous times at the CBI during the tussle between then CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, followed by their sudden transfers, suspensions, appointment of interim cheif, followed by more transfers has resulted in a slew of cases at the Supreme Court. The controversy will take its own time to die down.
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 the prime minister's residence -- that lasted for over an hour -- and attended by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Kharge.
The 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.
(With agency inputs)