New Delhi: The Prime Minister-led selection panel had narrowed down their search for the appointment of Central Bureau of Intelligence (CBI) director to five persons who took charge as the IAS officers between 1983 and 1984. The final decision on the appointment of a new CBI chief will be made by the committee on Saturday. Following the meeting, the name of the new director of CBI will be announced.

If reports are to be believed, candidates from the list of 80 eligible officers belonging to 1983-85 batches were shortlisted to 30 IPS officers. They were further shortlisted to five which includes former Madhya Pradesh DGP Rishi Kumar Shukla (1983 Madhya Pradesh cadre), Central Reserve Police Force chief R R Bhatnagar (1984 Uttar Pradesh), National Security Guard chief Sudeep Lakhtakia (1984 Uttar Pradesh), National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences director Javeed Ahmed (1985 Uttar Pradesh) and Bureau of Police Research and Development chief A P Maheshwari (1984 Uttar Pradesh).

Meanwhile, Congress leader and one of the three members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee.  Mallikarjun Kharge has allegedly raised objections over the names put forth by the government, for the appointment of the next CBI Director during the second committee meeting on Friday.

The Selection Committee comprises the Prime Minister, the leader of the largest opposition party and the Chief Justice of India or his nominee judge of the apex court.

Notably, the post of the CBI director has been lying vacant since January 10 after the ‘hasty’ exit of Alok Verma, following his ugly spat with Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana over corruption charges. After Verma’s ouster,
M Nageswara Rao has been working as the interim CBI chief.

Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court had ruled that it was “averse” to the arrangement of an interim CBI Director and the Centre should “immediately” appoint a regular chief of the probe agency. The top court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause challenging the Centre’s decision to appoint IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI director.

The post of CBI Director is “sensitive” and “important”, and it is not good to keep an interim director of the agency for longer period, the top court observed, seeking to know as to why the government has not made the appointment yet.

(With Agency inputs)