Select CBI director on merit, seniority: Congress

Last Updated 22 January 2019, 16:17 IST

Ahead of the meeting of the Selection Committee to appoint the new CBI Director, Congress on Tuesday said merit and seniority should be the criteria for the selection.

The selection committee, comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, is scheduled to meet on January 24.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of a controversial ouster of CBI Director Alok Verma who was at loggerheads with Special Director Rakesh Asthana. Asthana and Verma had levelled corruption allegations against each other.

“The selection should be based on merit, seniority,” Congress spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters here.

He said the no officer facing charges during his service career should be empanelled for selection to the post of CBI Director.

Kharge is expected to exercise extreme caution in the selection of the CBI director and may submit a dissent note if the candidate does not measure up to the expectation.

Congress also insisted on maintaining the sanctity of the list of empanelled officers who are eligible for selection as the CBI director.

“No officer against whom there is any question mark, any charges during the service career should be considered for empanelment otherwise that would be a gross miscarriage of justice. That is what we want,” Sharma said.

IPS officers of the 1982-85 batches are being considered for the coveted post. National Investigation Agency chief Y C Modi, Border Security Force chief R K Misra, Central Industrial Security Force chief Rajesh Ranjan are considered as front-runners for the post.

After war broke out between Verma and Asthana in October last year, the government sent both the officers on leave and appointed M Nageshwar Rao as the Interim Director.

Verma challenged his removal in the Supreme Court, which re-instated him earlier this month but with curtailed powers and subject to the views of the Selection Committee on the allegations against him.

The Selection Committee that met on January 10 recommended his removal as CBI director, a move that was dissented by Kharge. Verma was shunted out of CBI and appointed as Director General, Fire Services, a post he refused to take up and tendered his resignation. He was due for retirement on January 31.

(Published 22 January 2019, 15:32 IST)

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