A meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Opposition leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was held at the PM’s residence, where three names were shortlisted for the post of director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday, 24 May, NDTV reported.
As per the news report, names of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Director General Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) DG Kumar Rajesh Chandra and special secretary, internal security in the Union home ministry, VSK Kaumudi, were finalised.
All considered for the post were Indian Police Service (IPS) officers from four senior-most batches (1984-87).
Jaiswal is an Indian Police Service officer of the 1985 batch and a former Director-General of Police of Maharashtra. At present, he is the director-general of the Central Industrial Security Force.
Chandra is also a 1985 batch IPS officer of the Bihar cadre and currently holds the post of director-general of Sashastra Seema Bal.
Kaumudi is a 1986 batch IPS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre and is presently the special secretary for internal security in the Home Ministry.
The meeting, which was undertaken after being delayed for four months, deliberated over the top post which has been vacant since February, when former chief Rishi Kumar Shukla concluded his tenure.
The officer picked to be the CBI chief will hold the post for at least two years from the date on which they are appointed.
Presently, the senior-most additional director of CBI, Praveen Sinha, has been working as interim chief of the investigation agency.
According to the law, the government panel selects the CBI director “on the basis of seniority, integrity and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases.”
NDTV reported, quoting sources, that in the meeting, Chief Justice Ramana referenced a "six-month rule," the first time such a rule has been cited in the selection of a CBI director.
Justice Ramana reportedly referred to a judgment by the apex court which said that officers with less than six months left in service should not be considered for police chief posts and asked the selection panel to comply with this rule, according to NDTV.
This rule reportedly found backing from Chowdhury as well.
Opposition Leader Voices Concerns
After the meeting, Opposition leader Chowdhury expressed his objections regarding the selection process, saying that the government has followed a “casual approach” in picking the names of the candidates, Hindustan Times reported.
“The way the procedure was followed, it was in conflict of the mandate of the committee,” he said, alleging that he was given 109 names on 11 May, and on Monday, by 1 pm, 10 shortlisted names were provided. By 4 pm, six more names were added to the list.
He said that the casual approach of the department of personnel and training is “highly objectionable.”