A high-powered panel comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge and newly sworn-in Chief Justice Of India JS Khehar will on Monday select the next director of India's premier investigation agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, reported The Economic Times.
Currently, the CBI is headed by R Asthana, who was appointed by the Modi government on 2 December last year on an ad hoc basis. The decision was termed controversial as he was chosen to lead the agency without the the selection panel consisting of the prime minister, Leader of the Opposition or the largest party in Opposition and the chief justice meeting even once.
Interestingly, Asthana had been promoted to the number two position, just three days prior to his appointment to head the investigation agency, noted a report in India Today.
However, the decision to appoint Asthana on a ad-hoc basis — the first such instance in the last 10 years — led to eminent jurist Prashant Bhushan filing a Public Interest Liitgation in the Supreme Court to declare the appointment illegal.
Nevertheless, with the government now deciding to choose a full time CBI, here are five top contenders for the coveted post:
Alok Kumar Verma: The current Commissioner of Delhi Police, the 1979-batch IPS officer replaced BS Bassi on 1 March last year. Prior to taking over as the chief of Delhi Police, he was Special Commissioner of Police (Administration). He rose to prominence as the Director General of Tihar Jail, from August 2014 onwards, DNA noted.
Verma belongs to the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.
Satish Mathur: The 1981-batch IPS officer became the Director General of Maharashtra Police in August 2016. The 1981-batch IPS officer had suceeded 1977-batch officer Pravin Dixit.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Mathur is perhaps best known for being the first NSG-trained IPS officer in India. The prospective CBI chief is also known for his stint with the CBI, in the 1990s, when he handled the prosecution of the 1993 blasts accused.
Rupak Kumar Dutta: The 1981-batch officer is perhaps one of the favourites to be the next top boss. Currently, Dutta is a special director in the CBI, a post he was promoted last July. The officer is known for his rich experience as a CBI officer, with an experience of over 15 years. A 1981-batch Karnataka cadre IPS officer, Dutta is the senior-most officer from the state, a report in the Deccan Chronicle noted.
Archana Ramasundaram: Another candidate is Archana Ramasundaram, who made history recently when she became the first women to head the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Notably, she was also the first women to head any paramilitary force in India. The 1980-batch officer belonging to the Tamil Nadu cadre was in the news in 2014, when the Centre appointed her Additional Secretary in CBI. However, as The Hindu reported, after the Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court challenging the move, she had to be made the head of the National Crime Records Bureau.
Krishna Chaudhary: The senior-most of the five contenders, the 1979-batch Bihar cadre IPS officer is at present the Director General of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), having been appointed by the Modi government in January 2015. Previously, Chaudhary was heading the Railway Protection Force.
Updated Date: Jan 16, 2017 14:58 PM