gfiles magazine

May 10, 2012

Business of laws

Business of laws
khurshid cosy with corporates?
The Law Ministry is in the limelight. Not surprising in an era of scams and scandals. After all, its job is to give legal opinion to all ministries on any and every issue. Naturally, even big business houses need to engage with the law ministry. Enjoying the limelight is Law Minister Salman Khurshid. But now Salman has invited trouble for himself. The President of the Legal Service Officers Association, Prabhakar Singh, who is a Joint Secretary in the ministry, is filing a petition in the CAT against the minister. The issue at hand is the manner in which a highly controversial officer NK Sharma was promoted to the rank of additional secretary by superseding six others. We all know the DOPT rules state that promotions can only be through two methods – either by seniority or going by the ACR. In this case, interviews were conducted by Salman Khurshid himself and Sharma was handpicked. It is learnt that Sharma is close to the younger brother of a prominent business house from Mumbai. It is no secret that the younger brother and Salman are good friends and the younger brother takes a great deal of interest in the postings of ministers and officials of the law ministry. There is also a buzz in the ministry that the senior brother also called on the minister recently as he wanted his candidate appointed as law secretary.
Former Law Minister Veerapa Moily is going around telling the world that he was ousted from the Law Ministry under pressure from corporate lobbies. And ironically, Salman Khurshid was removed from the Corporate Affairs Ministry because he was seen as being too close to corporate lobbies by the Congress leadership. g

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