PM-headed panel to meet Friday to decide on CBI chief

Post of CBI chief has been lying vacant since January 10 after the unceremonious exit of Verma, who was engaged in a bitter fight with Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana over graft charges.

Published: 31st January 2019 06:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st January 2019 06:19 PM   |  A+A-

PM Narendra Modi

PM Narendra Modi (File | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed selection committee will meet here Friday to decide on the director of the country's premier investigative agency CBI, which is working without its regular chief, officials said.

This would be the second meeting of the panel as its January 24 sitting had remained inconclusive.

The panel is scheduled to meet on Friday, the officials said, without citing further details.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are the members of the committee.

READ: Third SC judge recuses from hearing plea against appointment of CBI interim director

The post of the CBI chief has been lying vacant since January 10 after the unceremonious exit of Alok Verma, who was engaged in a bitter fight with Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana over corruption charges.

Both Verma and Asthana have accused each other of impropriety.

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 year age of superannuation.

He had taken over as the CBI chief on February 1, 2017 for a fixed two-year tenure.

In a letter to Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), C Chandramouli, Verma said he could not accept the new assignment offered by the government as he had superannuated on July 31, 2017.

The Centre has not yet made public its decision on Verma's letter.

The tenure of Asthana as the Special Director in the CBI was also curtailed recently and he was posted as the Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

M Nageshwara Rao has been working as the interim CBI chief after Verma's ouster.

In the last meeting of the panel, a list of eligible officers along with their dossiers was shared with the panel members.

"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.

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