Hitting out at the Centre over its “casual and superficial” approach in selecting the new CBI director, senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday said that the shortlisting process adopted by the government conflicts with the one adopted by the selection committee.
The selection committee, which is empowered to finalise the new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director comprises the leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.
Raising objects to the Centre’s approach, Chowdhury alleged that he was provided with a list of probable candidates comprising 109 names without any executive sheet giving details of their work experience.
He further alleged that the department of personnel and training (DoPT) included and omitted names from the list on its own will, whereas in practice only the selection committee can do so. He also claimed that the list sent to him included many pensioners.
"I have raised objections to the selection process, as it is in conflict with the mandate of the selection committee…The DoPT should not adopt a casual and superficial approach in the selection process," Chowdhury told PTI.
During a 90-minute meeting of the panel on Monday, Chowdhury disagreed with the procedure adopted, saying it is the committee which has to select and omit the names of candidates.
He said that a total of 109 names were first sent at 1 pm to him without any executive sheet giving details of their work experience.
Chowdhury said later a list of 10 names were sent to him at 4.30 pm, which included five who were pensioners, had retired from service and were on extension.
Later six more names out of the list of 109 names were sent, he said.
Chowdhury raised strong objections to the approach adopted by the DoPT in the process.
During the meeting, the Congress leader sought deferment of the selection process, but the other two members said they wanted to move ahead with the appointment and Chowdhury disagreed with them, sources said.
The post of CBI director is vacant since the then incumbent Rishi Kumar Shukla retired on February 4 after a two-year stint.
(With PTI inputs)