The Deputy Inspector General of the CBI here -- H. Venkatesh -- who is the chief investigating officer in the disproportionate assets case against Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, is likely to continue to oversee probe in the case though he completed his sanctioned four-year deputation with the CBI on Friday.

The CBI headquarters at New Delhi has requested the government of Kerala to grant him a one-year extension of deputation but there was no word from that State till today.

He is a 1998 batch IPS officer of the Kerala cadre.

Sources said the request of the CBI was being processed by the Kerala government. Mr. Venkatesh will not be relieved from the post till a response was received. Indications, however, were that there might not be any objection to the extension from that State unless it felt it had a serious shortage of IPS officers to deal with local law and order problems.

Moreover, the guidelines of the Supreme Court were clear that key officers of the CBI who were involved in investigation of serious cases should not be disturbed even if they completed their term of deputation. In tune with the guidelines, the apex court had sent back a Superintendent of Police to the CBI when he was repatriated to his State cadre in the midst of the probe in the coal gate scam.

The CBI had ordered his repatriation at the end of his deputation.

The investigating agency did not insist on these guidelines when the Joint Director of CBI here --V.V. Lakshminarayana -- was recently repatriated to his cadre State of Maharashtra after seven years, saying he was only one of the supervisory officers and not an investigating officer himself in the sensitive cases handled by the agency. The CBI explained its stand when a public interest litigation challenging the transfer of Mr. Lakshminarayana was taken up by the High Court.