Stirring The SEBI Pot
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has a penchant for courting controversy, and its present chief Ranjit Sinha does not worry about stirring it up if he feels it’s worth it. CBI’s recent decision to launch a preliminary enquiry against former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Bureau of India (SEBI) Chairman C.B. Bhave and ex-member K.M. Abraham, for alleged “irregularities” in granting sanction to the MCX stock exchange has, predictably, stirred up a hornets’ nest. Observers were taken aback when several redoubtable former babus came out in protest against the CBI’s move against the two former SEBI officials. Former Central Vigilance Commissioner N. Vittal and former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai have publicly questioned what they term as CBI’s “questionable action” while praising Bhave and Abraham for their “unblemished record”. Naturally, CBI chief Sinha denies that the probe against the former SEBI officials is ill-founded. He claims that the agency has credible information for initiating the enquiry. But the babus are not convinced.
UP’s Babu Woes
The jugalbandi of netas and babus in Uttar Pradesh is rarely out of the news, whether it be mass transfers ordered by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav or the shenanigans of individual babus. The actions of Kanpur’s senior superintendent of police Yashasvi Singh which resulted in junior doctors going on strike after the cops launched a brutal assault on them has brought more brickbats for the Samjawadi Party Government, already being lambasted for being lax on law and order and its poor governance record. It does need mentioning that this “unruly” cop was one of the two bureaucrats praised by Akhilesh Yadav as the most promising babus in the State recently! But the Chief Minister really put his foot in his mouth when during “IAS Week” he informed his audience that he had made an IAS officer return a bribe. Certainly, he was not expecting the rush of criticism his remarks have drawn. Angry activists are now demanding that the Chief Minister take disciplinary action against the “culprit” or the matter will be brought to the attention of the judiciary. Never a dull moment for UP sarkar, as they say!
Feeling Left Out
Being a Union Territory and the capital of two States, Chandigarh is served by officers from Punjab and Haryana, besides those of the UT cadre. The relationship works along the prescribed 60:40 ratio; with 60 per cent of babus in Chandigarh belonging to the Punjab cadre and 40 per cent from Haryana. Of late there is much consternation among Haryana IAS officers who believe they are being short-changed when it comes to serving in Chandigarh. Clearly the prevalent mood has warranted UT home secretary Anil Kumar, a Haryana cadre officer of the 1988 batch, to take up the issue with the Union Home Ministry. Though the issue has cropped up on several occasions earlier too, the current situation was reportedly triggered by Haryana babus planning to demand that the post of UT advisor be reserved for officers from the State. The move is well timed since the incumbent adviser K.K. Sharma is retiring next month. Also, Haryana IAS officers are aggrieved at three UT cadre officers in Chandigarh being given extensions, thus denying them a chance to serve in the UT Administration.