A high-level committee of top bureaucrats has shortlisted a panel of three names for selecting the next Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The committee, which held its second meeting here on Wednesday, is learnt to have finalised the names of A. P. Singh, Special Director in the CBI; S. C. Sinha, Director of the National Investigation Agency, and N. R. Das, currently posted as Director-General of the Central Industrial Security Force.

The names will be sent by the Department of Personnel and Training to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The appointment will be made well before month-end as the tenure of Ashwani Kumar as CBI chief ends on November 30.

Official sources said the meeting, attended by Chief Vigilance Commissioner P. J. Thomas, Home Secretary G. K. Pillai and Department of Personnel Secretary Alka Sirohi, discussed the names of senior IPS officers belonging to the 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975 batches for selection to the post in the premier agency.

The sources indicated that it could be a toss-up between Mr. Sinha, a 1975 batch Haryana cadre IPS officer, who has till recently served in the CBI; and Mr. Singh, a 1974 batch IPS officer of the Jharkhand cadre.

As per Supreme Court guidelines, IPS officers from the four seniormost batches and having experience in the anti-corruption department or in the CBI have to be empanelled for selection as the CBI Director, who would have a fixed two-year tenure irrespective of his date of retirement.

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