Panel led by Narendra Modi likely to pick new CBI director today at 6.30 pm, day before ousted chief Alok Verma's tenure ends

  • The selection committee is slated to appoint a replacement for former CBI director Alok Verma

  • Alok Verma was the first CBI chief to be ousted in the history of the institution

  • The Modi-led panel appointed M Nageshwar Rao as the interim CBI chief after Verma's exit

A day before ousted CBI director Alok Verma's term is to end, the high-powered selection committee — led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — is scheduled to meet on Wednesday at 6.30 pm to decide a name for the post.

On 24 January, the select committee meeting to zero in on a candidate remained inconclusive. "A list of eligible officers along with their dossiers was shared with the panel members. But no decision has been taken so far," an official had told PTI.

The meeting, which was held at the prime minister's official residence, was attended by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Kharge said names of officers were shared. "There was discussion on the names. There was no mention of their career details including relevant experience. We (him and Gogoi) have asked them to provide all the necessary details," he said.

 Panel led by Narendra Modi likely to pick new CBI director today at 6.30 pm, day before ousted chief Alok Vermas tenure ends

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

Verma was removed as the CBI director on 8 January following months of conflict with CBI special-director Rakesh Asthana and was reinstated the following day on the orders of the Supreme Court. However, the selection committee voted 2:1 and removed Verma from the post on 11 January and appointed M Nageshwar Rao as his interim replacement.

On separate occasions last week, Gogoi and Justice AK Sikri recused themselves from hearing a case in Supreme Court against the appointment of Rao as the interim CBI chief. Sikri, who had attended one of the selection committee meetings, held his ground, saying he had "his own predicaments".

After being removed from the post of CBI director, Verma 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.

The entire controversy and Verma's resignation letter triggered a political slugfest, with the Opposition parties, mainly the Congress, accusing the central government of alleged interference in public institutions.

Among the strongest contenders for the post of the CBI director are Haryana director-general (state vigilance bureau) Parminder Rai, home ministry's Rina Mitra, Director General of National Investigation Agency YC Modi, and chief of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences Javeed Ahmed.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jan 30, 2019 11:27:50 IST