NEW DELHI:The NDA government on Wednesday sacked Anil Goswami as Home Secretary for allegedly trying to stall the arrest of former Union minister Matang Sinh in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. For the record, the government said his application for voluntary retirement had been accepted with immediate effect and appointed Rural Development Secretary L C Goyal as the new Home Secretary.
“Goswami was asked to resign after several marathon meetings in the Home Minister’s office over allegations that he tried to influence the CBI probe and dissuaded investigators from arresting Sinh. Subsequently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh took the decision to remove Goswami,” said a senior Home Ministry official.
Goswami, a 1978 batch IAS officer of the J&K cadre, had a fixed two-year tenure, and was due to retire in June. He was summoned by Rajnath in the morning and during an hour-long meeting he admitted he made calls to CBI officials probing the Saradha scam. Sources said Rajnath is understood to have conveyed that his (Goswami’s) situation had become untenable and he could not continue as Home Secretary. The Home Minister also summoned CBI director Anil Sinha to examine the facts and later a report was submitted to Modi. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) summoned Goswami in the evening, sources said, and agreed with Rajnath’s assessment that prima facie evidence made his continuation as HS untenable. “The government may take action against a CBI joint director for influencing the probe. Sinh’s phone was under surveillance and the proof corroborates the allegations,” the sources added.
Goyal is a 1979 batch Kerala cadre IAS officer. He had earlier served in the Home Ministry as Joint Secretary (Internal Security).