Corrupt officer joins the Global board of USIBC – Irony died a thousand deaths

Will the government choose wisely in appointing a new SEBI Chairman, now that Ramesh Abhishek is not being considered?

Will the government choose wisely in appointing a new SEBI Chairman, now that Ramesh Abhishek is not being considered?
Will the government choose wisely in appointing a new SEBI Chairman, now that Ramesh Abhishek is not being considered?

The United States (US) and many western countries have strict rules on corruption. Companies cannot give bribes to procure international contracts. Whistle-blowers can stay anonymous, are kept safe by entities like the Securities Exchange Board (SEC) and in fact, when the fines are levied on the errant companies, the whistle-blowers even get a percentage of the fines collected. That even Fortune 500 companies can’t escape the law is proved by how many have been prosecuted[1]. When someone of the “reputation” of Ramesh Abhishek (RA) gets appointed to the board of US-India Business Council (USIBC), then one has to take this news with a kilogram of salt.

RA’s “achievements

  1. Ramesh Abhishek has usurped crores of black money, according to a whistle-blower complaint against him with CVC, Lokpal and CBI, which singularly disqualifies him from holding any post in the Government because of his tainted activities[2]. He also has cases against him in Bombay High Court.
  2. He owns plush residences in Munirka Enclave of Delhi and adjoining industrial hub of Gurgaon along with many more illegal properties, which are impossible to purchase with his official salary even in 100 lifetimes[3].
  3. Atul Varma, an IPS officer, who was working with Ramesh Abhishek when he was FMC Chairman, had filed a complaint against him with CBI regarding Abhishek using commodities brokers and accepting bribes from them in the form of fake consultancy charges paid to the law firm of his daughter, Vanessa Abhishek Agrawal[4]. The complaint has sought an investigation into a series of allegations including his wife, Swapna Abhishek, receiving gifts of diamonds worth crores of rupees from some brokers.The complainant has drawn attention to Abhishek’s shady acts during his early days as a bureaucrat in Bihar, doing favours for then CM Lalu Prasad Yadav and how he has allegedly acquired illegal wealth by doing that. It also alleged that when Ramesh Abhishek was an IAS officer in Bihar, he helped Lalu in every possible way and Lalu returned the favour when he became the chief minister by offering the post of Finance Minister to Mr S P Tekriwal, the brother of Abhishek’s father-in-law.
  4. Even as DPIIT Secretary, Ramesh Abhishek has received massive kickbacks from start-ups through his daughter’s firm Thinking Legal which provided ‘Legal’ consultancy to these start-ups[5]. Almost all of the startups that received funding from DPIIT under Ramesh Abhishek’s tenure, had hired Thinking Legal as their ‘legal’ consultant[6].

Is RA not in the reckoning for SEBI Chairman?

Newspaper reports say that the government has told Madras High Court that Ramesh Abhishek will not be considered for SEBI Chairman post[7]. Good. The reason given is that he has not applied for it. As long as the government does not pull a C B Bhave rabbit out of the hat, I am happy. There is more. It is important to select a person of integrity and deep knowledge of the field. And such a person must crack the whip at SEBI – punish the errant while creating fair and transparent stock exchanges that provide for accurate price discovery. Will the government do it? Only time will tell.

References:

[1] Exclusive: SEC probes Siemens, GE, Philips in alleged China medical equipment schemeJun 4, 2019, Reuters.com

[2] Did Ramesh Abhishek use his contacts in Home Ministry to harass the suspected Whistleblower? – Jun 7, 2019, PGurus.com

[3] The art of serving Politicians and enriching thyself – Part 1Jun 2, 2019, PGurus.com

[4] Ace advisor of Lalu and part of PC’s Fantastic FourJun 4, 2019, PGurus.com

[5] DPIIT – Currency printing start-up for Ramesh Abhishek family?Jul 12, 2019, PGurus.com

[6] P5 – Will Modi clean house of corrupt IAS officers?Jun 14, 2019, PGurus.com

[7] Ex-IAS Ramesh Abhishek will not be considered for SEBI chairman post: Govt to Madras HCJul 21, 2020, The Times of India

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2 COMMENTS

  1. We have all read the Ithihasa, Sree Ramayana. Vali tells Rama that had he befriended him instead of his brother Sugreeva, he would have ensured that Ravana brings Sita and returns her to Rama, without any effort. Rama replied: “I will not associate with unrighteous even if I may be benefitted by such an association”.

    Sadly, BJP associated with PDP in J&K, Shiv Sena associated with NCP & INC, BJP routinely are taking in corrupt politicians from other parties, the common man is so averse to politics which is now nothing but FILTH

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