The tenure of CBI’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who was sent on forced leave by the government, has been curtailed with immediate effect, according to an official order issued Thursday.
The tenures of three more officers Joint Director Arun Kumar Sharma, Deputy Inspector General Manish Kumar Sinha and Superintendent of Police Jayant J Naiknavare have also been curtailed, it said.
The development comes days after Alok Verma was shunted out of the post of CBI director and appointed Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards.
Verma had refused to take up the new post, saying he had already superannuated from the police service.
Following the removal of Central Bureau of Investigation’s former head Alok Verma on charges of corruption, the Prime Minister-led selection committee will now meet on January 24 to decide on the next chief.
While the decision for the meet came late on Wednesday evening, earlier in the day, there was action in the Supreme Court where the appointment of IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as interim Director has been challenged by a PIL petition.
Advocate for the NGO, Prashant Bhushan, mentioned the matter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and requested for an early hearing.
The bench said that the hearing on the PIL was not possible this week and posted it for next week.
Meanwhile, the PM-led selection panel will also have Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha and Chief Justice of India as its members.
This panel earlier met on January 10 to decide on Verma’s fate and was attended by PM Narendra Modi, Kharge and CJI’s nominee, Justice AK Sikri.
On Tuesday, Kharge wrote to the PM, requesting for the selection of a CBI chief at the earliest. With the government’s decision to appoint Rao as interim Director also under attack in SC, the selection panel had to meet soon.
The PIL had sought to know the details of the decision-making process adopted to appoint the interim Director. Bhushan claimed that the decision on Rao did not have the backing of the selection committee and hence was illegal.