Gearing Up For A New CBI Era: PM-Led Selection Committee To Meet On 24 January To Appoint New ChiefPM Narendra Modi addressing a gathering in New Delhi (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times)

The three-member panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet on 24 January to select a replacement for ousted Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Alok Verma, the Times of India has reported.

The other two members of the panel are Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. According to reports, the government wanted to hold the meeting on 21 January and Kharge wanted it on 24 or 25 January.

After Verma’s ouster by the high-power selection panel, M Nageswara Rao was appointed as the CBI’s interim director. He had reversed all transfer orders issued by Verma. Indian Police Service officers of 1983, 1984 and 1985 batch, including DG BSF Rajni Kant Mishra, NIA chief Y C Modi, CISF DG Rajesh Ranjan and DGP Uttar Pradesh OP Singh, are being considered for the post.

These names are being scrutinised by a host of organisations including the Intelligence Bureau, Chief Vigilance Commission as well as the special unit of the CBI, to dig up any past convictions or corruption cases.

Suspense persists on the fate of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana who was till last year considered the most likely successor to Verma until the latter filed corruption charges against him.

It is also not clear what will happen with Verma, as his resignation from the appointment of DG Fire Services and Home Guards, which was given to him after his removal as the CBI head, has not yet been approved by the government.

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