A day after Alok Verma was ousted as the CBI Director, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has expedited its exercise to shortlist the final names from among some 10 Director General level IPS officers for the agency's top post, people familiar with the matter said.
The list included the names of senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers selected in 1983, 1984 and 1985.
Leading the race are Mumbai Police Commissioner Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, a 1985-batch IPS officer, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O.P. Singh and National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Y.C. Modi, informed sources said.
After the 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 Congress in the Lok Sabha to decide the final pick for a fixed term of two years.
As Verma's tenure was to end on January 31, the final decision is expected to be announced before or within the last week of this month.
A Home Ministry official who asked not to be named said a list of 17 officers had sent to DoPT in December 2018 for selection as CBI Director.
Another officer, seeking anonymity, told IANS that the DoPT was in the process of shortlisting the names of officers on the basis of matters such as experience in investigating anti-corruption cases, prior experience of working in CBI, handling vigilance matters in cadre and integrity.
According to guidelines set by the Supreme Court in 2004, officers from the four oldest serving batches of the IPS will be in contention for the top post.
By virtue of seniority and experience in probing anti-corruption cases, the list of officers from the 1983 batch included Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union Home Ministry Rina Mitra, UP Director General O.P. Singh and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar.
Some prominent names from the 1984 batch are NIA chief Modi, National Security Guard (NSG) Director General Sudeep Lakhtakia, Bureau of Police Research and Development chief A.P. Maheshwari, Director of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences S. Javeed Ahmed, Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Rajnikant Mishra and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) chief S.S. Deswal.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, a 1985-batch IPS officer, is also in contention.
While Rina Mitra and Modi have long experience of working in the CBI and anti-corruption branches, Jaiswal has a clear edge, informed sources said.
Jaiswal has served in Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and worked for the Centre as Additional Secretary to Cabinet Secretariat before joining as Police Commissioner of Mumbai.
Besides Rina Mitra, O.P. Singh and Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar from the 1983-batch and Jaiswal, others are batchmates of CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who is now fighting a legal battle to quash a FIR against him filed by his own agency.
The process to decide the name of the new CBI Director was speeded up on Thursday after Verma was unceremoniously removed by a Prime Minister-led committee, capping a saga of his battle with his deputy Asthana that led to a bitter end to his long career.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)
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