IT Secy RR Shah: Victim?

By : |November 20, 2002 0

NEW DELHI: A day closer to the reported suspension action against IT secretary RR Shah, there’s still no official statement on the issue. But there are indications that the action may not be entirely linked to the discharge of his duties as IT Secretary. And that this could even be an attempt to rebuff a senior and free-thinking bureaucrat, than a move on real and serious disciplinary grounds.

Contacted by Cyber News Service on Wednesday, Shah was open and forthright about the issue, bluntly denying reports on any possible action against him. “This is totally wrong. I would not like to comment on the issue. Truth will be out,” he said, adding that “you people should ensure that what you report stands for justice.” CNS investigations suggest that any action against Shah may have roots in issues other than his carrying out of official duties in his current tenure as IT secretary.

This is not the first time that Shah has raised hackles in the corridors of power. In his previous tenure as Prasar Bharti chief, he had pulled off the feat of pushing up the Cricket World Cup sponsorship fees substantially–from around Rs 300 crore to Rs 450 crore-plus–a move that left key contenders for the sponsorship rights very upset. Nor did this feat find favor with then ministry officials, and it reportedly formed part of the reason that detractors openly spoke out against him in that posting as well.

That issue was buried when Shah moved to the high-profile and then-nascent IT ministry, but it is now reportedly being raised again–at a time when Shah is among the top contenders for the prestigious home secretary’s post. Sources have told CNS that Shah’s achievements in previous assignments are, ironically, becoming a hurdle in his move to the home secretary’s office.

“He has stood true, without any leanings or bias, and that has invoked the ire of some powerful parties,” the sources said. Today, Shah faces much of the same kind of story–stern action in the face of a clean official sheet.

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