NEW DELHI: Rajasthan Police chief O P Galhotra, Uttar Pradesh Police director-general rank officer H C Awasthi and ten others have been shortlisted by the Home Ministry for the post of the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) falling vacant on retirement of the benched Alok Verma on January 31.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had sought the list of the eligible IPS officers from the Home Ministry in October to start the process of the selection of the new incumbent, noting that as per the Supreme Court's guidelines laid down in 2004, four oldest batches of the officers from 1982 to 1985 will be eligible.
Once the names get the vigilance clearance, they will be put before a 3-member selection panel comprising Prime Minister Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. The panel recommends one or more names and the final choice is made by the PM.
CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, a Gujarat cadre IPS officer of the 1984 batch, would have qualified but he does not figure in the list since he has been benched since after the agency registered an FIR of corruption against him in the ongoing fight between him and Director Verma. He was No 2 in the agency and has held the temporary charge as director two years ago before Verma was appointed.
The senior most in the list from the 1983 batch IPS officers are Rina Mitra who is currently special secretary (internal security) in the Home Ministry and Uttar Pradesh Police chief Om Prakash Singh.
Six others are from the 1984 batch. Topping them is National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Y C Modi, IPS officer of Assam and Meghalaya cadre who was part of the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) that probed the 2002 Gujarat riots and gave a clean chit to Narendra Modi in the Gulbarga Society massacre of 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.
Experience-wise also, Modi tops as he was an additional director of CBI from July 2015 to September 2017 and his added qualification is his proximity to both Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. He was brought to the CBI in May 2014 on Narendra Modi coming to power.
and his shifting to the NIA was attributed to help dilute the cases against the saffron terrorists.
Other 1984 batch contenders are: RAW special secretary Vivek Johri, BSF chief Rajnikant Mishra, CISF chief Rajesh Ranjan, National Institute of Criminology director Javeed Ahmed and ITBP chief S S Deswal.
Rajasthan's Galhotra and UP's Awasthi are both from the 1985 batch of the IPS. Two other contenders in their batch are Railway Protection Force chief Arun Kumar and Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik.