MAYAWATI government might have distanced itself by immediately removing principal secretary (information) and 1979 batch IAS Vijay Shankar Pandey in the wake of Enforcement Directorate’s possible probe on his alleged linkage with Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, but this process of investigation is likely to damage the reputation of an anti-corruption group called India Rejuvenation Initiative in which Pandey has been actively involved.
According to reports, Pandey and Puducherry Lt Governor Iqbal Singh could be summoned by the ED in connection with the passport procured by Hasan Ali who reportedly evaded an income tax of over Rs 70,000 crore. The ED is also probing possible money laundering by Hasan Ali.Pandey is known to be an honest officer and was one of the first civil servants to publicly declare his assets one and half years ago. Pandey is a key driver of anti-corruption group India Rejuvenation Initiative in which several eminent civil servants including former CAG VK Shunglu, former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, and former Planning Commission secretary Dr NC Saxena are executive members. Significantly, Shunglu is now probing the Commonwealth Games scam and Saxena is a member of UPA chairwoman Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council.