As the tenure of the current Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Rishi Kumar Shukla comes to an end on February 2, the race for the premium post has gathered momentum with several top officers in the race.

According to sources, several officers of the 1984, 1985 and 1986 batch are in the running for the top post, including NIA chief Y. C. Modi who is currently the chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Arun Kumar, Director General of the Railway Protection Force and Praveen Sinha, currently Additional Director in the CBI.

Rakesh Asthana
Rakesh AsthanaIANS

Besides them, Central Reserve Police Force director general AP Maheshwari and Indo-Tibetan Border Police chief S.S. Deswal are also said to be in the race. Official sources said the present CBI Director, a 1983 batch officer, may get an extension for six months.

A source said that Rakesh Asthana, who is currently holding several key posts such as DG Border Security Force and also holding additional charge DG of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is also in the race.

Besides Asthana, M.A. Ganapathy, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Uttarakhand cadre and currently Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is also said to be in the tight race for the top post.

After the DoPT chooses the names of at least three or four officers for the CBI Director's post, they would be sent to the Select Committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha to decide the final pick for a fixed term of two years. Currently the Congress is the largest Opposition party in Lok Sabha.

CBI security
CBI office in DelhiANI

According to guidelines set by the Supreme Court in 2004, officers from the four oldest serving batches of the IPS will be in contention for the top post.

As per the guidelines, officials having experience in anti-corruption investigations or CBI, from the senior most four batches of IPS cadre, will be empanelled, following which a screening of three officers would be sent to the Appointments' Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.