The Modi government late on Tuesday night appointed Maharashtra cadre IPS officer of 1985 batch, Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, currently Director General of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), as CBI Director for two years.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has, based on the panel recommended by the committee constituted as per Section 4A(1) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, approved the appointment of Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, IPS (Mh-1985) as Director, Central Bureau of Investigation for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the office,” a government notification said.
Mr. Jaiswal is widely experienced, having served as Maharashtra Director-General of Police before he was made the CISF chief, and also served in the CBI earlier.
The government has picked him from a panel of three officers shortlisted by the Prime Minister-led high-level selection committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India as well as leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha. Other two officers shortlisted were Special Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs V.S.K. Kaumudi and another IPS officer of Bihar cadre K.R. Chandra.
Earlier on Monday, the selection committee held a 90-minute meeting to discuss the names and finalise the officer to be appointed as the chief of the country’s premier investigation agency.
During the meeting, it is learnt that the Chief Justice insisted that any officer to be considered should have six months’ tenure left in the service, which led to dropping of two most trusted officials of the government: NIA chief Y.C. Mody and BSF chief Rakesh Asthana — both were front-runners to be next CBI chief, given their proximity to the political bosses in the regime.
Interestingly, this is for the first time that the rule of six months’ tenure was applied in the appointment of the CBI chief.
The insistence from the CJI about sticking to the rule reportedly came as a shock to the government as the first choice for the most powerful post in the administration was either Mr. Mody or Mr. Asthana.
“It came as totally unexpected because never in the past, six months’ rule was applied while selecting a CBI chief,” a senior official told The Hindu .
Also, as the insiders have confided in The Hindu that though Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not insisted on any specific name during the Monday’s meeting, but the way the administration had prepared the shortlisted names which were circulated before the meeting, it was apparent who the government’s choice was for the agency.
“Naturally, Y.C. Mody and Rakesh Asthana were the top preferences,” said another official.
It may be noted that during the meeting, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary submitted a dissent note and questioned the entire selection process, calling it flawed.