A three-member panel, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday shortlisted three candidates to take over as the new chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation, The Indian Express reported.
The three senior Indian Police Service officers are – Central Industrial Security Force Director General Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal Kumar Rajesh Chandra and Special Secretary (Internal Security) at home ministry, VSK Kaumudi.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Hitesh Chandra Awasthi’s name was also discussed, according to the Hindustan Times. However, most other reports did not mention that he was in the reckoning.
The 90-minute meeting that took place at the prime minister’s home on Monday evening, however, did not end in all agreement as Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, registered his dissent over the procedure of selection. Chief Justice of India NV Ramana was the third member of the panel.
In a dissent note, Chowdhury raised objections over the selection process and said the Department of Personnel and Training had followed a “casual approach” in choosing the names, NDTV reported.
From a list of 109 officers, Chowdhury was sent complete dossiers of 10 shortlisted names around 1 pm on Monday and another six names were sent a couple of hours before the meeting at 6.30 pm, various reports suggested. The Congress leader reportedly said that it was the selection committee’s responsibility to keep or eliminate names, and not that of the Department of Personnel and Training.
Meanwhile, Ramana insisted on following the rule of law as per the various guidelines laid down in previous Supreme Court judgements, The Hindu reported.
Praveen Sinha, a 1988-batch Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service officer, was appointed the interim director of the Central Bureau of Investigation in February. Sinha’s interim appointment was necessitated as the government failed to find a candidate to fill the post after former chief RK Shukla’s tenure ended.
Among those shortlisted on Monday, Jaiswal being a 1985-batch Indian Police Service officer of the Maharashtra cadre, is the senior-most of the lot, according to The Indian Express. He has served as Mumbai Police Commissioner and Maharashtra Director General of Police. Jaiswal has also had long stints at the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing.
A 1985-batch IPS of Bihar cadre, Kumar Rajesh Chandra has earlier served in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Special Protection Group, which guards the prime minister.
Meanwhile, Kaumudi, a 1986-batch IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, has served as the Joint Commissioner of Police of Hyderabad, and the Commissioner of Visakhapatnam. He was also an additional director general in the National Investigation Agency and has headed the Jammu and Kashmir Zone of the Central Reserve Police Force.