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PM-led panel’s meet on CBI chief remains ‘inconclusive’, 33 names shortlisted so far

The second meeting of the panel, which also has Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge as its members, however, remained inconclusive.

PM-led panel’s meet on CBI chief remains ‘inconclusive’, 33 names shortlisted so far

NEW DELHI: A high-powered panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met at PM's residence to finalise the name of the new CBI chief/

The second meeting of the panel, which also has Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge as its members, however, remained inconclusive.

It may be recalled that 1979-batch IPS officer Alok Verma was removed as CBI chief in January. 

Sources told PTI that the panel has shortlisted thirty-three names for the CBI director's position. Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police RK Shukla is reportedly the frontrunner for the prestigious post. The others in the contention are Central Reserve Police Force Director General RR Bhatnagar; CBI Special Director Arvind Kumar (1984 batch); Javeed Ahmed of the Uttar Pradesh cadre; Director General (Bureau of Police Research) AP Maheswari; IPS 84 cadre and currently DG BSF Rajnikant Mishra, IPS 84 cadre and currently DG ITBP SS Deshwal, Gujarat DGP Shivnand Jha and Rakesh Asthana himself. Sources added that the main disagreement is over the name of Gujarat DGP Jha.

The turmoil in the CBI started after Alok Verma and his deputy, Rakesh Asthana were sent on 'leave' following an ugly public spat between the two officials. Gujarat-cadre officer Asthana was made the Deputy Director of CBI soon after the National Democratic Alliance came to power at the centre in 2014. 

M Nageswara Rao was appointed the interim CBI chief after Verma's ouster. NGO Common Cause has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging Rao's appointment as the interim CBI Director. It is interesting to note that three SC judges have recused themselves from hearing this case citing various reasons.

(with agency inputs)