Keep IAS out
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief Rahul Khullar has suggested that his successor should preferably be from outside the IAS fold. The suggestion naturally raised eyebrows, as it was made publicly. More than reviving the old specialist versus generalist debate, observers were trying to read the tea leaves for any deeper significance in Khullar’s remarks. Like Khullar himself, former chairmen of TRAI including Pradeep Baijal, Nripendra Misra and J.S. Sarna have all had an IAS background and previous experience as Telecom Secretary before being appointed to the regulatory body. Besides the IAS, the Indian Revenue Service and Indian Telecom Service too also supplied a steady stream of officers to TRAI. But perhaps Khullar really has a genuine non-IAS candidate in mind when he aired his view.
The taxman is feared by everyone, apparently even by the heaven born! Madhya Pradesh IAS officer Rajesh Rajora, for one, recently discovered the perils of annoying an income tax officer at some considerable cost. In 2008, Rajora, who was Home Secretary and also in charge of allocating Government houses to Central Government officials, apparently ignored a request from S.S. Rana, Director General of Income Tax for a sarkari bungalow. Rana, sources say, then got a bungalow allotted by approaching the Chief Minister directly. But Rana allegedly also ordered an income tax raid on Rajora, who was suspended for nearly 33 months. However, the State High Court has now come to Rajora’s rescue and vindicated his stance that the IT raid conducted at his premises was for not allotting a bungalow to the IT official. The Bench stated that the raid had no logical reasoning and was conducted without sufficient ground. That must have sounded like music to the aggrieved babu’s ears.
Cop versus cop
A senior IPS officer in Bihar who was suspended recently on an alleged extortion charge has now claimed that he has become victimised by his superiors. Former Deputy Inspector General Alok Kumar, a 1997 batch IPS officer of the Jammu amd Kashmir cadre, has registered a case against Bihar police chief Abhayanand and two Inspector-Generals Amit Kumar and Praveen Vashistha for allegedly using casteist remarks against him during the course of the investigation. By registering a case against his peers and superior, the suspended officer created a stir in Patna’s bureaucratic circles. Unfortunately, the FIR filed by Alok Kumar has now been rejected, and he faces a case for “forcibly trying to file a case”. Alok Kumar, however, is determined to carry on his fight. Though Director General of Police Abhayanand has not reacted to the suspended DIG’s accusation, it is clear that the case will not be resolved any time soon, given that it now involves the State judiciary.