Wednesday, December 08, 2010

CBI raids residences of Behura, Chandolia and two other officials

INDIA'S top investigating agency CBI on Wednesday raided the residences of four bureaucrats in addition to Delhi and Chennai premises of former telecom minister A Raja in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.
The bureaucrats whose residences were raided in wee hours on Wednesday are Siddhartha Behura, former telecom secretary and 1973 batch retired IAS, RK Chandolia, a 1984 batch Indian Economic Service, K Sridhar, Member Telecom Commission and A K Srivastava, former Deputy Director General in the department of telecom, according to reports quoting CBI sources.
Behura, who is now working as chairman of C-DoT Alcatel-Lucent Research Centre based in Chennai post retirement, had claimed that when he joined office as telecom secretary on January 1, 2008, all decisions with regard to granting of licences were taken either verbally or on files. The licences were announced on January 8, 2008.
But Behura is considered to be in good books of A Raja even before he had joined telecom ministry. Behura was an additional secretary in environment ministry between 2005 and 2007 when A Raja was the environment minister.
RK Chandolia, who had served as private secretary to A Raja was later promoted as economic adviser in the department of telecommunications who had reportedly played a key role in appointments in the state-owned firms like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). Also, it’s alleged that he was reporting to the DoT secretary directly which many say is a clear proof of jumping the official structure.
Both Chandolia and A K Srivastava were shifted out of the DoT after Kapil Sibal was given charge as telecom minister.
The CBI raids is a part of an investigation of a Rs 22,000 crore telecom scam. The investigating agency had earlier registered a case on October 21, 2009 against unknown Department of Telecom officials and private persons and companies connected to the doling out of telecom licences.
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Action and Appointments
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the following appointments:
a) Ms Naini Jayaseelan, a 1980 batch UT cadre IAS as adviser, Planning Commission in the rank of additional secretary.
b) Arbind Prasad, a 1980 batch Bihar cadre IAS, presently joint secretary, ministry of social justice and empowerment as advisor, Planning Commission in the rank of additional secretary.
c) Shyam S.Agarwal, a 1980 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS, as additional secretary, department of commerce on in-situ basis, by temporarily upgrading the post.
d) Upendra Tripathy, a 1980 batch Karnataka cadre IAS, as additional secretary in cabinet secretariat, on in-situ basis, by temporarily upgrading the post.
e) Nandita Chatterjee, a 1980 batch West Bengal cadre IAS, as DDG, CAPART, under the Department of Rural Development, in the rank of additional secretary, on in-situ basis, by temporarily upgrading the post.
f) Satish Balram Agnihotri, a 1980 batch Orissa cadre IAS, as Director General of Shipping in the rank of additional secretary.

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