New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Office on Thursday asked Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge to spell out his "convenience" after December 16 so that a meeting could be convened of the Selection Committee to choose the new CBI Director.
Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh, who is also in-charge of Department of Personnel, wrote to Kharge in response to his letter sent on Thursday, sources said.
Singh asked Kharge to indicate his "convenience" after December 16 so that the meeting of the Committee could be scheduled, the sources said.
In his letter, Kharge had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately convene a meeting of the Selection Committee to select the new CBI Director.
Kharge is a member of the Committee which comprises the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition or leader of the largest party in opposition in Lok Sabha.
The Congress leader, in his letter, had raised strong concerns over the appointment of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as interim director of CBI and alleged that the process of selection of the new director of the investigation agency has been vitiated.
Kharge alleged that the transfer of Special Director R K Dutta, the senior-most officer after the Director, as Special Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, appears to have been "deliberately done" to facilitate giving charge of the post of CBI Director to an officiating junior officer.
"It thus gives rise to apprehensions that the process of selecting the Director, CBI, has been vitiated and is being manipulated to pre-empt the decision to be arrived at in the meeting of the Selection Committee," he said.
Kharge also pointed out that the credibility of the premier investigating agency demands that a meritorious and experienced officer of requisite seniority is selected for appointment as Director, CBI, without any delay.
Drawing the attention of the Prime Minister for appointment of a regular director of CBI after superannuation of Anil Kumar Sinha on November 30, 2016, Kharge said it was essential to complete the process of selection and appointment of Director CBI in time, for a smooth transition.
"Unfortunately, this was not done and this delay has raised serious concerns," he said, adding, "The government failed to convene a meeting that was to be chaired by yourself to finalise the selection of the Director."
The Congress leader added, "I request you to convene the meeting to deliberate upon this matter, urgently."...