Controversial tainted officer Shaktikanta Das appointed as RBI Governor

Selecting a History Post-Grad with a questionable track record as the RBI Governor is an extremely poor choice

Choice of a History Post-Grad with a questionable track record as the RBI Governor is an extremely poor choice
Selecting a History Post-Grad with a questionable track record as the RBI Governor is an extremely poor choice

History Graduate is RBI Governor

Hours after a massive electoral drubbing in several states, a Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi headed committee on Tuesday appointed controversial retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shaktikanta Das with a tainted past as the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Why Modi would choose a post graduate in History and a career bureaucrat to be the Governor especially when India’s finances are in such a delicate shape is a million dollar question. Das is close to tainted, corrupt Finance Minister P Chidambaram (PC) and sabotaged many PC probes while in the Modi Government and this “reward” therefore beggars belief.

For the past three years PGurus has reported several frauds of Shaktikanta Das. Be it a land allotment scam in Tamil Nadu or attempts to scuttle Aircel-Maxis scam, or telling lies in the apex court to sabotage Aircel-Maxis scam, Das has been diligent in trying to save his old master Chidambaram. As Revenue Secretary, Das sabotaged Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)’s probe on Coal Import and Power plant import scam worth Rs.30,000 crores involving Adani, Essar, Reliance Power among others.

At one point Modi shifted Das to Economic Affairs and it was during Demonetisation that we saw how Shaktikanta Das messed up with the implementation. He would come daily to hold press conferences and kept changing the rules. At one point, he announced putting ink mark on the persons exchanging old notes with the Banks! The current Finance Minister’s knowledge of Economics has been accused to have been fittable on the back of a postage stamp. Perhaps the FM wanted a pinhead.

Questionable acts

It is an open secret that he is close with the scamsters in IL & FS.

PGurus reported about the land allotment scam by Das when serving in Tamil Nadu during Karunanidhi regime. He allotted 100 acres to a US firm Sanmina SCI Corporation in 2007 at an old price fixed in 1970[1].  When PGurus published this report, Finance Ministry came with a wishy-washy statement to save Das to which we gave a fitting reply.

As Revenue Secretary in October 2014, to save his old master Chidambaram, Das changed Enforcement Directorate’s Advocate K K Venugopal (now Attorney General) at midnight over the phone and appointed a new lawyer to tell a lie in the Supreme Court (SC). The Revenue Department told a blatant lie in the court that all the probes in Aircel-Maxis case are over and hence the Investigating Officer Rajeshwar Singh can be transferred. This lie was uttered on the petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. It is obvious that without Chidambaram’s buddy Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, pliable Das would not have gone to this extent. In this case, SC rejected all fake arguments of the Revenue Department and ordered for the permanent absorption of Rajeshwar Singh in ED’s service and also ordered for continuation as Investigating Officer till the end of the trial.

In 2015, CBI asked Shaktikanta Das several times for cooperation in Aircel-Maxis and the cunning officer played all frauds to save Chidambaram[2].

Even after Prime Minister’s Modi’s order, Das delayed for more than 10 months in DRI’s probe in Coal Import scam. DRI’s request to get the bank transaction details of coal importing firms were held up by this tainted officer till he quit the Revenue Department[3].

Even after retirement, Arun Jaitley recommended him for the post of a Member in the Finance Commission. Being a person from Odisha, Shaktikanta Das is always supported and protected by P K Mishra, a senior colleague from Odisha, who is an Additional Principal Secretary to the PM. Mishra served seven years with Sharad Pawar during his tenure as Agricultural Minister and landed in Modi’s PMO too as a powerful officer.

Poor management of the economy and the coterie of uncouth officers in PM’s secretariat are the main reasons for the electoral debacle of BJP in the Hindi heartland. But it seems that even after these setbacks, Modi appears to not want to read the writing on the wall. Appointment of a tainted administrative officer Shaktikanta Das, that too a History post-grad to head RBI shows that.

References:

[1] Shaktikanta Das involvement in a controversial land deal in Chennai, 100 acres allotted at a pittanceJul 4, 2016, PGurus.com

[2] Did Shaktikanta Das go slow in CBI’s probe against Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis case?Jul 7, 2016, PGurus.com

[3] DRI show cause notices to Adani, Reliance Infra & Essar on coal import scams as PSU Banks hide detailsSep 15, 2016, PGurus.com

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Sree Iyer

An inventor and out-of-the-box thinker, Sree Iyer has 37 patents in the areas of Hardware, Software, Encryption and Systems.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. So who is not tainted in the polity…. it’s a question of how much one is tainted? Every person in the public eye has real or imagined FIRs registered against him/her- by the opposite side. This time the brigade is superunited under the banner, ‘Anyone but Modi’, and the BJP is not united on procedure,policy and delivery. They are not being too smart in getting the message across either.

  2. The above news is the clear proof that PM Modi why he could not fulfill poll promises and he is just fooling public with out understanding he is fooling himself. I can understand that he is surrounded by people of with more qualification and social status but people elected Mr. Modi only that made the party to come to power. But he is failing slowly for the people ambition and from his promises.

  3. The arguments by author are not logical. If the new RBI Governor is close to PC Chidmbaram, why was he made a member of the Finance Commission by the FM Arun Jaitley and now Governor by the Govt. Especially when PCChidambaran is from the Congress??

  4. Where do you find secretary level IAS officers- who haven’t worked with PC and company and have still managed to rise/ getting posted to important economic/ financial positions?

  5. Modi has finally proved that he is no better than his predecessor in looking the other way to corruption cases while boasting in public that he is a anti-corruption crusader It now appears that both congress and bjp are two sides of the same coin of corruption. People of India are willing to be fooled by mediocre politicians who would keep power by any foul means and are also ready to pay the price for consequent mis-governance.

  6. What a pity? Modi and company has fooled the public, who have voted them to power. Are they so ignorant of all the facts? Even a child in the school will act properly, if facts are known.

  7. Let’s be honest for a few minutes. Modi has rewarded several corrupt IAS and IPS officers. Take Sadhvi Pragya’s torturer Param Bir Singh for example. No investigation against him in spite of BJP at state and center. In fact, he got promoted as ADGP. No need to say that Modi is unaware or something because I have personally written to him about several corrupt bureaucrats. He is a pro-corrupt politicians who constantly needs photo-ops, that’s it. Modi won’t get re-elected in 2019. The discussion is over

  8. It is not important to give power to some one we thought he would fix. But also ensuring he is encircled with right persons.

    What is pitiable is India somehow wants to come out of family and foreign rule. But it is more getting into it.

    Very sad that such a hard working person

  9. Wow..it brings true the old sayings…Birds of the feather flocks together..it’s all about chor-police game…hope the be serious about the national interest…

  10. I am quitting from all comments on India in all media, for it seems India is hopelessly doomed with visionless leaders. With Modi making a decision to appoint Shaktikanta Das, he has sealed the little hope left with India. Goodbye India.

  11. Shocking to read that a liar is appointed as RBI Governor. With this,it’s clear that this Government is not serious about punishing the corrupt. PC and KC would have been happy to know this appointment.

  12. One should understand that ALL current beurocrats in the past had worked under previous ministers of UPA, and every one would have manipulated system for their survival. It continues even is states today. There is factionalism in every group in our society, and indians as such look upon any one in power with folded hands including poojaris in temples.

    Adhia and R Asthana are projected as villains. Now Adhia is retired and refused Cabinet secretary post. Due to impeccable investigation by Asthana, Mallaya is extridited, but he has a FIR for taking a bribe of 2 Cr, where as Mallaya would have easily brought him for 100 Cr.

    Technically indians hardly have a national spirit and they are a familiy centric society and their mindset can be twisted with wrong narratives.This has been used by Congress which established a submissive culture, and any freedom to executives in power will be disastrous.

    This is where Modi failed.Some one has to be RBI governor and Modi has to believe in set of advisors and perhaps after elections he will sit in a confident chair.Swaraj is out and so will be Jaitley in next term. But one thing is clear, he is not listening to RSS.

  13. If Modi loses 2019 general elections, it could only be because of the spineless Finance Ministry he had. With the appointment of Shaktikantha Das, the little hope left with this Government vanishes and will not be surprised if Chidambaram becomes presidential candidate in the next opportunity.

  14. the maximum age of retirement as an RBI governor is 62 years.
    he is turning 62 coming february.
    i am guessing his post is only temporary,and since this government is counting it’s last days judging by the so far election results, i am also guessing wrong actions will be taken hastily and this will create more chaos then there already is and i am sure no matter how qualified you are, to adjust to a post in a new office takes time.
    i pray for the good of the country and i am really scared what is in-store in the days to come.
    Please Shaktikanta sir, if you are reading this.
    i wish you good luck and with tremendous hope i ask you to not let us down.

  15. Let Pralaya save my country. that is my final wish. Sucked by Adharma and corrupt. No Pandavas and no Krishna. Only Pralaya can save my country. I guess even Swamy will be made to look like a dead duck in front of AJ.
    Market rises today to satisfy the orders of Das, PC, Pappu and what not. BJP defeated in 3 states and market rises by 1%. What any one can infer?

  16. Modi’s blind faith in Jaitley will leave him nowhere. Nobody us talking about Jha who has been appointed as Finance Secretary. He is also a surrogate Congress acolyte. Modi’ s main plank of winning election on anti-corruption plank has gone for a six. He is doomed to meet ignominious defeat at the hands of his own by appointing his own enemy’s agents to key posts.

  17. It is frustrating to hope that modi will usher the new india we all long for. I am now convinced he is not as keen as we think. Possibly not as shrewd as we think he and shah are. It is impossible to understand what can be his compulsions to be slave to appointments committee and accept the kind of people suggested for all key position. This seems to be worse than the inexplicable nexus and slavery JJ exhibited with sasikala. Can’t be more ashamed the way the appointments are made. If someone can bring the expose on what ails modi it will be good. I think it is time to realise modi cannot do and does not want to do anymore. We must accept that we will remain this way. Half baked. Neither raw nor cooked. Not a single thing that matters happened in 4.5 years. – can’t correct laws that are one sided like HRCE, not a single corrupt political person or bureaucrat has been convicted

  18. There will be a reason behind why Modi has chosen this person. My suspect is, to get this person approver over a period for some difficult cases.

  19. Absolutely unbelievable that the ecosystem is alive and kicking! When or if ever will Modi learn his lesson? After such a drubbing is Modi on a death wish?

  20. I have only one dissent with this article.
    i do not think having history post graduation is a disqualifying criterion for being appointed to an high post. It is very much possible to learn economics finance outside college better than inside the college. There are huge resources available and with enough, high degree of interest and the chances of having good teachers , we can learn well.
    I have seen too much stupidity in people having high educational qualifications in their areas of supposed expertise, be it in psychology or spirituality or science or economics or justice or philosophy or science etc etc…

    What is required for such high posts is common sense, good basic economics, finance and banking knowledges relating to the central banking workings and plenty of experience…

    That having said, I had lost respect over this new appointee during his appearances in media in the demonetisation exercise

    • Mr Ganesh is correct. Sometimes , at high offices, you do not need more than common sense and integrity.
      Perhaps Shree is influenced by Subramanyam Swamy stmt that ‘Rajan is a finance guy, not an economist.But I’m one’.
      I’m also disappointed by SKD’s appointment.

  21. Shaktikanta Das is a most pliable and corrupt officer. Though Arun Jaitley pressured him, Modi is responsible for this tainted officer’s posting as RBI Governor. That too after big electoral debacle!!!! Let Modi face music.

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