A high-powered committee will meet on Monday evening to select the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), sources said on Saturday.
A top source related to the development told IANS, “A meeting is scheduled at the residence of the Prime Minister to discuss the new CBI chief on Monday evening.”
The CBI got an acting Director in the form of Praveen Sinha after the term of R.K. Shukla ended on February 3.
According to sources, several officers of the 1985 and 1986 batch are in the race for the top post, including Y.C. Modi, who is currently the chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and 1985 batch IPS officer Hitesh Chandra Awasthi.
A source said that Rakesh Asthana, who is currently holding several key posts such as DG Border Security Force and also the additional charge of DG in the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), is also in the race for the top job.
Besides Asthana, M.A. Ganapathy, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Uttarakhand cadre and currently serving as the Director General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), is also said to be in the race for the CBI chief’s job.
Even the name of Kerala Police DGP Loknath Behura, a 1985 batch IPS officer of Kerala cadre, is doing the rounds for the top post in the CBI.
Behura had been in the CBI earlier and had probed several sensitive cases such as the Purulia arms drop case and the Mumbai serial blasts case. He was also one of the founding members of the NIA in 2009.
After the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) chooses the names of at least three or four officers for the CBI Director’s post, they would be sent to the Select Committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, who will decide the final pick for a fixed term of two years.
Currently the Congress is the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha.
According to the guidelines set by the Supreme Court in 2004, officers from the four oldest serving batches of IPS will be in contention for the top post.
As per the guidelines, officials having experience in anti-corruption investigations or CBI, from the senior most four batches of IPS cadre, will be empanelled, following which a screening of three officers would be sent to the Appointments’ Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.