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PM-led panel to decide on CBI chief

PM-led panel to decide on CBI chief
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NEW DELHI: A high-powered selection committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in the national capital for the appointment of a new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director.

The meeting comes after the panel ousted Alok Verma from the post earlier this month.

Prime Minister Modi heads the three-member panel. The other two members are Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and the Leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress.

Kharge had given a dissent note against Verma's removal.

The panel's previous meet held Wednesday night remained inconclusive, said the members, without giving further details.

Earlier on January 10, the committee had met in the national capital. Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi had nominated second senior-most judge AK Sikri as his representation in the panel a day before.

The CJI reportedly recused himself from the meeting since he was part of the bench which authored the Supreme Court judgment to reinstate Verma as CBI chief.

CBI chief Verma and his second-in-command Special Director Rakesh Asthana were sent on the forced leave over two months ago in October after reports of differences emerged between the two. The two seniormost CBI officials had accused each other of corruption.

The court, while reinstating Verma, however, made it clear that he will desist from taking any major policy decision till a high-powered committee considers the issue of "divestment of power and authority".

Verma later had challenged his ouster from the CBI in the Supreme Court. Asthana too approached the Delhi High Court for quashing of an FIR registered by the CBI, reportedly at the instance of Verma, in an alleged corruption case. A decision in this regard is pending in the high court.

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