CBI gets a chief: Asthana, NIA’s Modi out after CJI drew the line

Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Director General of the CISF and an IPS officer from the 1985 batch Maharashtra cadre, was named CBI Director Tuesday. A day earlier, when the high-powered selection committee met, at least two frontrunners were knocked out of contention when Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, one of its three members, drew the attention of the panel to Supreme Court guidelines on appointment of police chiefs.

It is learnt that CJI Ramana pointed out that the March 2019 guidelines of the Supreme Court, on an application by retired IPS officer Prakash Singh, made it clear that no officer with less than six months to retirement should be appointed a state police chief.

By invoking this direction in the appointment of a CBI chief, the CJI may have set a precedent that could also apply to selection of chiefs for the IB and R&AW.

The CJI was firm on this principle and Opposition leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury backed him. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, head of the panel, was learnt to have said that the rule of law would be followed in the selection process.

This effectively ruled out the chances of two IPS officers of the 1984 batch — YC Modi of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre and Rakesh Asthana of the Gujarat cadre – for the top job in the CBI.

YC Modi, currently chief of the National Investigation Agency, retires at the end of this…

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