Parts 1 to 4 of this series can be accessed here. This is the concluding part.
Of the 12 Income Tax Officers shown the door, 11 were due to corruption. Is a similar drive of corrupt Indian Administrative Services (IAS) Officers being planned by Modi? One has to wait and see.
The man behind Lalu’s loot
On Sep 28, 2017, TenNews.in came with an explosive post, titled Ramesh Abhishek: Lalu’s Advisor Under Scanner. The post says that RA is the mastermind behind the illicit empire of the massive ill-gotten wealth of Lalu Prasad Yadav. In his complaint to the Office of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Whistleblower (WB) alleges that his daughter’s legal firm, Thinking Legal is one of the numerous places where RA has parked his money. The WB goes further to say that RA, being the head of Startup India, would ensure that an angel network entity such as the Indian Angel Network (IAN) would approach and use the “advice” of Thinking Legal (TL) for their investment in startups because TL would expedite the permissions, benefits provided by the government. Five startups have been listed which got funded by IAN in which IAN was advised by TL.
Is Ramesh Abhishek a Commodity trader?
If true, this is a massive conflict of interest. The WB writes in his complaint that RA is a commodity trader himself, and owns a rice mill by the name of “Jagdamba Rice Mill” situated at Rairangpur Industrial Estate, Rairangpur, Odisha – 757 043. He also trades and imports commodities such as LC Ferro Manganese, Ferro Chrome, Ferro Moly, Ferro Vanadium, Ferro Titanium, MC Ferro Manganese & other LC Ferro Alloys items through his brother Vijoy Shankar Agarwal’s company “Jagdamba Iron Steel (P) Ltd” situated at Rairangpur, Orissa – 757043. He also has a warehouse for the storage of commodities.
Illegal extensions given to Ramesh Abhishek
Ramesh Abhishek, 1982 IAS officer (Bihar cadre) joined the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) as a Member in December 2010 and was given the charge of acting Chairman from August 2011 onwards. He was subsequently promoted and made the FMC Chairman on 21 September 2012.
In March/ April 2014, by when his tenure at FMC should have already ended, Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister (CM) of Bihar wanted Ramesh Abhishek to come back to Patna as Additional/ Chief Secretary since he had stayed outside the State beyond the limit permissible in civil services rules. Despite some strong back and forth, P. Chidambaram misused his power to prevail upon Nitish Kumar.
P Chidambaram bypassed all process and policy and abused his Power (Chair) to extend favor to Ramesh Abhishek by giving him 5 extensions as Chairman of FMC, which is unheard of in the history of bureaucratic India and had never happened before.
P Chidambaram wanted Ramesh Abhishek at FMC and so kept extending his tenure in violation of all process and policy and thereby helped Ramesh Abhishek to stay in Mumbai till he desired. This was organized by P Chidambaram by partnering with K.P. Krishnan in Finance Ministry, who is known to be P Chidambaram’s frontman and collection agent.
Interestingly, on the Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT) website now there is no record of Ramesh Abhishek’s extension before Jul 10, 2014, as Chairman of FMC given by P Chidambaram.
DOPT website shows details of only the decisions by the NDA Government and nothing about earlier extensions, as follows:
|List of extensions, latest first|
|Sl. No.||Order No.||Date||Concerned Officer details|
|1||36/2/2015-EO(SM.I)(2)||Jul 6, 2015||Ramesh Abhishek, IAS, BH, 1982, Economic Affairs||PDF(English)|
|2||36/2/2015-EO(SM-1)||Apr 14, 2015||Ramesh Abhishek, IAS, BH, 1982, Economic Affairs||PDF(English)|
|3||36/02/2015-EO(SM.I)||Jan 12, 2015||Ramesh Abhishek, IAS, BH, 1982, Economic Affairs||PDF(English)|
|4||9/47/2012-EO(SM.I)||Oct 13, 2014||Ramesh Abhishek, IAS, BH, 1982, Economic Affairs||PDF(English)|
|5||9/47/2012-EO(SM.I)||Jul 10, 2014||Ramesh Abhishek, IAS, BH, 1982, Economic Affairs||PDF(English)|
Till April 2014 Ramesh Abhishek was eagerly hoping that the UPA Government will come back to power, while in actual NDA Government came to power and Mr. Arun Jaitley took charge as Finance Minister in May 2014. Before the NDA Government could change officials of Ministry of Finance, under which the FMC fell, Ramesh Abhishek managed to continue at FMC.
After FMC was merged with SEBI in September 2015, Ramesh Abhishek never had to return to the State Cadre, as he used his IAS position and Oriya lobby for taking a cooling off from Mumbai and went to Cabinet Secretariat as Secretary, Performance Management, so that he could lobby for a position as Secretary in the Government of India.
The whistleblower complaint has been filed in the office of the CVC. It is up to the CVC and other government authorities to look into this and clean the Augean stables. A copy of the complaint registered is shown below: