NEW DELHI: An additional secretary in the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance has been given the additional charge of Enforcement Directorate (ED) for a period of one month, starting March 1, as the government awaits the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election results to choose a new ED director.
Amitabh Ranjan will hold the additional charge as ED Director Arun Kumar Mathur, a 1977 batch IAS officer of UT cadre, retired on March 1 without the government choosing his successor. According to sources, a three-member panel was shortlisted to pick the new head before Mathur’s retirement, but the process got stuck due to government’s indecision. It is learnt that the decision makers in the government are of the view that they would be in a better position to select the new chief after the UP Assembly election results. They want to consider all ‘factors’ while making the new appointment as the directorate is presently probing several politically-sensitive cases, some of which are directly related to the state’s powerful politicians, bureaucrats and the corporate world.
The politically-sensitive cases being probed include Sahara’s investments and purchases, Amar Singh’s companies, Madhu Koda’s disproportionate assets (DA) case, Kirpashankar Singh’s DA case, 2G spectrum scam, Maran brothers’ case, CWG, IPL, Emaar-MGF, Reddy brothers’ DA case and Jaganmohan Reddy’s DA case. In several cases, ED and CBI are jointly probing the scams under the supervision of the high courts and Supreme Court. One of the front-runner for the top post is Bimal Julka, a 1979 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre. He is currently Director General, Directorate of Currency, and Additional Secretary to the Department of Economic Affairs.
Though the ED is an independent investigating agency, it works under the Department of Revenue. The director’s post comes in the additional secretary level.