Opposition Congress has their doubts and Supreme Court guidelines don’t allow, but Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma, a 1979 batch IPS officer is still “most likely” going to be the director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). A three-member panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and the Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge have been put to the task.
Sources said that Kharge has opposed the government’s move which pushes Verma’s selection for the post. He says that Verma has no experience of having served in the CBI, and cannot be appointed as its chief since that would be in violation of Supreme Court guidelines. Verma has only with the Vigilance Bureau and never in the CBI. According to SC guidelines, it is mandatory to have served in the CBI, to become its director. Sources in the government, said that Verma ranks among the top in seniority and merit, and that there are no questions on his integrity. His appointment, they said, is “most likely”. Oddly, the ‘most-likeliness’ of Verma’s selection is when the other two top contenders for the post are said to be senior Union Home Ministry official Rupak Kumar Dutta and Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur. Dutta and Mathur are from the 1981 batch.
Top Congress sources said Kharge could record his dissent in the event of Verma’s appointment. Leaders from Congress said the criteria laid down by the two Supreme Court judgments, has to be respected by the government as it has been by the previous government without any departure or dilution this time too. Congress has also said that when Dutta, one CBI special director, is also in the race who has served 17 years in the agency an officer with no experience in the CBI cannot be appointed by overlooking him. Dutta after his recent transfer is with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Mathur, an IPS officer who has also served in the CBI had supervised the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts probe.
ITBP Director-General Krishna Chaudhary, Verma’s batchmate said to be in the running for the post. Two women IPS officers: Archana Ramasundaram — the first woman IPS officer to head a paramilitary organisation, the Sashastra Seema Bal — and Meeran Borwankar, Director-General, Bureau of Police Research and Development are also in the list of probable candidates.