The selection committee which will decide on the new CBI director will meet on 24 January to take a final decision on the appointment. The committee comprises of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
According to a report published in The Print, Kharge, who had earlier asked the committee to meet on 25 and 26 January has given his assent to the PMO's suggestion to convene the meeting on 24 January.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear next week a plea by an NGO challenging the 10 January order of the government appointing IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as interim director of the CBI. The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Gogoi.
CBI's Additional Director Rao was given the charge of interim chief on 10 January till the appointment of a new director after the selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Alok Kumar Verma as the chief of the probe agency on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty. Kharge, however, had dissented against the move.
The plea in the Supreme Court had sought a direction to the Centre to appoint a regular CBI director forthwith by following the procedure laid down in accordance with the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, as amended by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. Besides this, the petition also sought a direction to the government to ensure that "all records of deliberations and rational criteria related to shortlisting and selection of the director of CBI, be properly recorded and made available to citizens in consonance with the provisions of the RTI Act".
The plea said that the government should ensure transparency in the process of shortlisting, selection and the appointment of CBI director by publicly disclosing, including through the website, the procedure and rational criteria for shortlisting candidates, if it is done. The plea also sought a direction to the Centre that the process of selecting CBI director, including composition, mandate and minutes of the meetings of the search committee, should be disclosed publicly along with names of shortlisted candidates so that people can inform the panel of any significant adverse information they may have about any such candidate.
The plea has claimed that the lack of transparency in the appointment of CBI director prevents any public scrutiny of the process and allows the "government to exercise undue influence" in the appointment process especially at the stage of shortlisting of candidates. Detailing the sequence of events relating to the appointment of Rao as the interim CBI director, the plea alleged that the entire process was "mala fide" as the government wanted to "appoint its own choice as CBI Director in the interim".
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 16, 2019 17:55:27 IST