Thursday, August 20, 2015

Removal of Rajan S Katoch as Enforcement Director and beyond

THE government on Wednesday night removed Rajan S Katoch, 1979 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS, as Enforcement Director (ED) and appointed 1984 batch UT cadre IPS officer Karnal Singh, now a special director in the directorate as the acting ED for three months or until further order. The removal of Katoch, who has been holding the additional charge as ED since July 2014 in addition to discharging his duty as union heavy industries secretary, is already due, but in all probability, the order of his removal was expedited after…
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had complained to prime minister Narendra Modi that the ED wanted to close the National Herald case without properly investigating it. Earlier Swamy accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and vice-president of the party Rahul Gandhi of grabbing the property of National Herald, a newspaper launched by Jawaharlal Nehru in pre-Independence era which was subsequently closed.
“Good to hear en route to New Jersey that action on appointment of new Director of ED followed my letter to PM. More action to follow”, Swamy tweeted after the news of Katoch’s removal broke on Wednesday night.
Significantly, Modi in his Independence Day Speech noted that attachments under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) worth ₹ 4,500 crore were made in last 10 months, a direct compliment to Enforcement Directorate that administers the PMLA.
In fact, Katoch, the then additional secretary in the ministry of commerce, was not the first choice of the UPA government to head the enforcement directorate. When the then ED Arun Kumar Mathur retired in February 2012, the government actually played the musical chair. Amitabh Ranjan, also a 1979 batch IAS, was first named as ED for a month, but in less than a fortnight, another finance ministry official Rakesh Singh was appointed as Enforcement Director. Then, Katoch was appointed as ED and he took charge in March 2012.
A PhD in economics, Katoch had earlier worked (1990-94) with the World Bank on a deputation. He was a joint secretary-level officer of the Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog), resident commissioner of Madhya Pradesh Bhawan in New Delhi, and additional secretary in the ministry of commerce.
Katoch hails from Himachal Pradesh. He will retire in February 2016.


  1. It is not fair that Rajan S Katoch removal is unceremonious. He is an acclaimed bureaucrat of Madhya Pradesh cadre. He was on this post since long. His awesome track record is well known. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy is not reason of his removal.

  2. He should have been removed earlier. He was holding the post as additional charge. Its not practical for any Secretary level officer to hold such an important task as additional charge.

  3. Why is an IAS officer heading Enforcement Directorate at all. Its an investigative organisation. An IAS is not suitable at all. An IRS or IPS is more suitable. Just because he is an IAS doesn't make him god. Katoch only eligibility as Director, ED is that he is an IAS. Doesn't matter if he does not know anything about money laundering, black money, foreign exchange, and much less about investigation of financial and other crimes.

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  5. Finance people IRS,IAAS, IRAS etc best suited for the job. Give them a fair chance atleast. Colonial legacy should be dismantled.

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  7. Dr. Rajan Katoch is a fine example of the text-book description of a Bureaucrat. Absolutely anonymous (how often has he been seen / heard in media, either visual or print), professional to the core (distinguished student of St. Stephen's followed with a First Class MA from Delhi School of Economics, and then a PhD in Economics), with a fine analytical mind and sharp intellect. Those who have worked with him in the Planning Commission would easily testify and corroborate.

    Although promoted to the level of Secretary, he did not demur when he was asked to continue with the additional charge of the post of ED, even though the Revenue Secretary was a batch junior to him (a sacrilege in seniority-bound Civil Services !). There would have been no instance where he side-stepped the Revenue Secretary, his junior in service, and more importantly junior in college, in true tradition of "service before self".

    If a regular posting had been done, that would have automatically relieved Dr. Katoch of additional charge. But a Special Director (who already stands posted back to his parent Police Cadre) being given additional charge and that too when only recently the duration of Additional Charge was extended by another three months, has led to this unfortunate and avoidable situation.

    Surely Government may have their reasons, which is its privilege. How we wish it were handled with "tact" (TACT is a buzz word in bureaucracy).

  8. Rajan S Katoch, (IAS 1979 MP) was summarily removed as Enforcement Director (ED) on Aug 19,2015.

    This was based on complaints by Dr Subramaniam Swamy against him for giving a clean chit to Congress President, Vice President and others in the National Herald case before closing it without investigation.

    Does the buck stop here ?
    Why not suspend Katoch on the basis of prima facie evidence before getting the matter investigated by the CBI

    Dr Subramaniam's petition is scheduled for hearing in Delhi hIgh court on Sept 3,2015.

    A K SAXENA (A retd civil servant)

  9. Is he any how related to digvijay singh?