Despite the power tussle between the two top officers of the Central Bureau of Investigations, the Director and the second senior most officer, the Central Vigilance Commission has gone ahead and given the green signal for extending the tenure of some key officers in this premier investigating agency, including those who have worked closely in some high profile cases as part of the special director, Rakesh Asthana's team.
Among those whose tenure have been extended, by a panel headed by the CVC, K V Chowdary, were a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) rank officer, who was recently repatriated to his cadre state Tripura, officials have said. However, the officer was called back to the agency soon after.
Apart from this, the panel has cleared the extension in deputation tenure of two other senior IPS officers who worked closely with Mr. Asthana in probing important cases including the one involving Vijay Mallya, the fugitive living in London.
The development comes days after the CBI wrote to the CVC saying that Mr. Asthana, a Gujarat cadre IPS officer, (and second senior-most officer) is not allowed to attend the panel's meeting in absence of the agency's director,Mr. Alok Verma, they said.
Those granted extensions include two Joint Directors, Mr. A Y V Krishna and Mr. Sai Manohar Aramane. Mr.Aramane is part of a Special Investigation Team handling politically-sensitive bank fraud case involving Mallya, that was headed by Mr. Asthana.
The competent authority has approved an extension in tenure of Mr. Aramane, a 1995 batch IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, from July 17, 2018 till April 2019, a recent order issued by the Personnel Ministry said. Aramane's batch mate, Krishna has also been given extension from July 18, 2018 till January 17, 2020.
The competent authority has approved an extension in tenure of Manish Kishore Sinha from April 3, 2018 to November 30, 2018, the order said. Sinha, a 1996 batch IPS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre, is undergoing training at National Defence College, the officials said. He is Joint Director in the CBI.
The tenure of another senior IPS officer, Anish Prasad, who was in May repatriated to his cadre state Tripura and called back soon after, has also been extended from June 3, 2018 to May 5, 2020. He is posted as Deputy Director (Administration) in the CBI headquarters.
The tenure of IPS officer Mr. Prem Kumar Gautam, associated with coal blocks scam probe, has also been extended.The approval of competent authority is conveyed for extension in the central deputation tenure of Mr. Gautam from January 27, 2018 till the date CBI gets permission/further direction from the Supreme Court, it said.
The apex court, which is monitoring probe in the multi-crore coal block scam involving politicians, businessmen and former bureaucrats, has said that no officer associated with the investigation should be removed without its permission.