The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will soon have a full-time director as a selection panel, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that met on Monday evening is said to have reached a consensus on the matter after deliberating for about a hour and a half. Sources said the committee, comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, besides Modi, agreed on three names for the CBI director’s post. CISF DG Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, SSB DG R Chandra and Special Secretary (internal security) VSK Kaumudi comprise the officers panel which has been recommended to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). An order is expected shortly.
Giving a written dissent against the selection process, Chowdhury said there was no transparency over the selection and dropping of some officers. “When the meeting was convened, I was given a list of 109 officers. This had pensioners as well. This afternoon, around 1.30am, a list of 10 was shared and another list of six at 4.30pm. Along with the names, there were details of their work profile. I wanted to know on what basis these 16 names were finalised," the Congress MP told News18.
Sources said the CJI suggested that rule of law be followed in the appointment process. The Prakash Singh judgement was cited and it was agreed that only officers with more than six months of tenure left will be considered.
This excluded officers like NIA DG YC Modi and BSF DG Rakesh Asthana, both of whom are due for retirement. Ultimately Jaiswal, Kaumudi and Chandra made the cut as senior-most officers with more than six months of tenure.
Jaiswal, 1985-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer is currently the director general of CISF. He was the DGP of Maharashtra since February 28, 2019, and has served in SPG and RAW. Jaiswal, 58, has also extensively dealt with the Naxal issue during his tenure at Maharashtra ATS. However, he has not served in the CBI so far. Earlier, Rishi Kumar Shukla was appointed CBI director without prior experience of working in the premier investigation agency.
Jaiswal’s name recently came up in connection with the transfer-posting corruption racket that has rocked the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra. BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said the then DGP Jaiswal had raised corruption allegations in transfers with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Kaumudi, the current Special Secretary (internal security) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, is an Andhra cadre IPS officer of the 1986 batch. He has served in the CBI as an SP in Delhi and Patna. Kaumudi’s most famous investigation in the CBI was against Lalu Yadav in the fodder scam. Kaumudi, who is from Bihar, had faced a lot of pressure while charging Yadav. The chargesheet was finally upheld by court and Yadav was convicted.
Kaumudi has also served in the National Investigation Agency, CRPF’s Jammu and Kashmir zone and the Bureau of Police Research and Development before joining the MHA in August 2020.
Chandra, a Bihar cadre officer of 1985 batch, is currently the DG of SSB. He held the additional charge of DG-CISF till recently. As part of central deputation, Chandra has served in the SPG and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. He has served extensively in Bihar as SP and DIG (law and order) and was the ADC to the governor.