Home Secretary Anil Goswami sacked
New Delhi, February 4
Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami was given marching orders late on Wednesday night for allegedly trying to stall the arrest of Saradha scam accused, former minister Matang Sinh. The final decision was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh met and discussed the issue, a highly placed source in the Ministry told The Hindu.
An official source in the Ministry said: “TheHome Secretary has resigned. I have no further details.” Mr. Goswami is the third top-ranking bureaucrat to have been shunted out since the Modi government took charge. Earlier, in January the tenures of Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and DRDO chief Avinash Chander were cut short.
Mr. Goswami, who was summoned by Mr. Singh on Wednesday morning, has admitted to calling the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials dealing with the Saradha case, an MHA official revealed.
The Home Minister met the Home Secretary and CBI Director Anil Sinha in the matter, separately but in quick succession in North Block on Wednesday morning. The meetings lasted over thirty minutes each, the official added.
“During his meeting with the Home Minister, the HS confirmed that he had made the calls,” the official added. There are no details available for the explanation offered by Mr. Goswami for speaking with the CBI officials. Sources in Mr. Singh’s office confirmed that he subsequently briefed Mr. Modi about the matter and the two meetings he had.
Mr. Goswami’s tenure would have ended in June but has been curtailed following the serious charges. While Mr. Goswami remained unavailable for comment till late into the night, he went on with his official routine after meeting the Home Minister. He attended office till late in the evening and also held a meeting with Defence Ministry officials.
Accused in the multi-crore Saradha scam, Sinh was arrested by the CBI last Saturday. “His phone was under surveillance for some time before the arrest and call records showed that Sinh had also spoken with the Home Secretary,” a source said.
Mr. Singh had on Tuesday told the MHA official who updated him on the controversy that he would not shield the top bureaucrat from the fallout of his alleged action.
Sinh was charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and misappropriation of funds. He had been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI on several occasions. His companies had allegedly received Rs. 28 crore from the Saradha Group.