December 17, 2016 3:31:40 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur and Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge will meet on December 26 to discuss the appointment of the next chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It is learnt that there could be more than one meeting before the three take a call on who should head the probe agency.
Names for three other key appointments — Chief of the Army Staff, Director of the Research & Analysis Wing, Director of the Intelligence Bureau — are also under consideration of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The selection of the Army chief is likely to be announced before the other appointments. The most senior officer after General Dalbir Singh, who retires this month-end, is Eastern Army Commander Lt General Praveen Bakshi. But the name of Lt General Bipin Rawat, who took over as Vice Chief of the Army Staff on September 1, is also doing the rounds as a possible successor.
In the CBI, Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana has been holding additional charge as Director following the
retirement of Anil Sinha. Last week, Kharge requested the government for the resumes of officers eligible for the post. Sources in the Opposition Congress said the party preference would have been R K Dutta, who was once in charge of investigation into cases relating to the allocation of coal blocks and 2G spectrum, but he was transferred last month to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Within the CBI, Dutta was said to have been the next in line for the top job after Sinha. Sources claimed National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is one of the persons providing inputs to the Prime Minister for the selection process. The government, sources said, appeared to have narrowed down names for the chiefs of the IB and the R&AW.
Rajiv Jain, a 1980 batch IPS officer from the Jharkhand cadre and currently Special Director of the IB, is said to be the favourite for the top post after the retirement of Dineshwar Sharma, a Kerala-cadre officer from the 1979 batch of the IPS.
Sources said the other contender is Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar, but Jain may pip him to the post. The officer tipped to be the next R&AW Director is A K Dhasmana, an IPS officer of the 1981 batch from the Madhya Pradesh cadre. But there is some talk that the present Director, Rajinder Khanna, may get an extension.
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