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Why IPS officers Rakesh Asthana & YC Modi, govt choice for CBI chief post, were ruled out

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana invokes a Supreme Court rule on appointments that has never been used before in the selection of CBI chiefs.

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New Delhi: Two of the Narendra Modi government’s top choices for the post of the Central Bureau of India (CBI) chief — Rakesh Asthana and Y.C. Modi — have been ruled out, with Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana invoking a Supreme Court rule that has never been used before in the selection of CBI chiefs, ThePrint has learnt.

Ramana underscored an SC rule which states that any IPS officer with less than six months remaining before his retirement should not be considered for posts of police chiefs.

While the rule has been used several times to rule out names of director generals of police (DGPs), it was the first time that the rule was invoked for the appointment of the CBI chief, said highly-placed sources.

Ramana was the one to invoke the SC rule, and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury supported him, thereby giving the two majority in the three-member panel, sources said. The selection panel comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice Ramana and opposition leader Chowdhury.

The names of Asthana and Modi had earlier been shortlisted by the government.

On Monday, the high-powered selection panel shortlisted three others names for the post after a 90-minute meeting.

Now, former Maharashtra DGP Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Director General K.R. Chandra and Home Ministry Special Secretary V.S.K. Kaumudi are in contention for the post.

ThePrint reached the spokespersons of the Department of Personnel and Training and the Prime Minister’s Office for a comment via calls and text message, but there was no response until the time of publishing this report.

Also read: States can have their own backward class lists, 102nd Amendment only for Centre, govt says

How Modi and Asthana have fared under Modi govt

Rakesh Asthana and Y.C. Modi were until Monday said to be frontrunners for the post. Both officers of the 1984 batch of the Indian Police Service, they have enjoyed important positions in the Centre under the Narendra Modi government.

Y.C. Modi has been the chief of the country’s premier anti-terror agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) since 2017.

Meanwhile, Asthana, who is currently the DG of the Border Security Force (BSF) had been the Special Director in the CBI earlier before he, along with then Director Alok Verma, were shunted out of the anti-corruption agency after a public spat between the two.

Also read: Modi govt pulls up Haryana for posting IPS and IFS officers as principal secy, an IAS post


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