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CJ cited rule that eliminated govt choices for CBI chief: Sources

CJ cited rule that eliminated govt choices for CBI chief: Sources
CJ cited rule that eliminated govt choices for CBI chief: Sources

New Delhi: At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last evening to select the new chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Chief Justice of India NV Ramana reportedly emphasised a rule that eliminated at least two key candidates shortlisted by the government, sources say.

After a 90-minute meeting, the high-powered selection panel of PM Modi, the Chief Justice and opposition leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury zeroed in on three names – former Maharashtra Director General Of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) KR Chandra and Home Ministry Special Secretary VSK Kaumudi.

Sources say during the discussions, Chief Justice Ramana raised a “six-month rule” that has never been cited before in the selection of a CBI Director.

Justice Ramana referred to a Supreme Court judgement that had said officers with less than six months left in service should not be considered for police chief posts. The selection panel must comply with the law, he said, according to sources.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, on the panel as the leader of the largest opposition party Congress, backed the rule, giving it majority support in the three-member committee.

This disqualified Rakesh Asthana, the Border Security Force chief retiring on August 31, and National Investigation Agency chief YC Modi, retiring on May 31 – two of the names seen to be at the top of the heap in the government’s shortlist.

Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, the chief of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the senior most of the three names unanimously chosen by the panel, is the frontrunner for the CBI top job.

The panel’s meeting at PM Modi’s residence took place after a nearly four-month delay.

Chowdhury backed the names but put up a dissent note alleging that the government had followed a “casual approach” in listing candidates. He said he had originally received 109 names, which were pared down to 16 names yesterday before the panel met.

“The way the procedure was followed, it was in conflict of the mandate of the committee. On May 11, I was given 109 names… and today by 1 pm, 10 names were shortlisted while by 4 pm, six names were shortlisted. This casual approach of the department of personnel and training is highly objectionable,” the Congress leader said.

Indian Police Service (IPS) officers from four senior-most batches (1984-87) were considered.

The law says the committee will select the CBI Director “on the basis of seniority, integrity and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases” from a list of IPS officers drawn from the four senior-most batches.




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CJ cited rule that eliminated govt choices for CBI chief: Sources