News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

This article was first published 8 years ago  » Business » 'Not denying that my appointment is due to BJP connections'

'Not denying that my appointment is due to BJP connections'

By Sanjay Jog and Jayshree P Upadhyay
Last updated on: August 19, 2015 14:40 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:



'I have been in the RSS since childhood'

'I understand the differences between politics and market issues'

'As a lawyer, I will have views independent of biases'

Arun Sathe has been in the news of late, following his appointment as part-time board member of the Securities & Exchange Board of India.

Sathe, brother of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and with deep connections with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the legal fraternity, talks to Business Standard on the controversy surrounding his appointment and his role at Sebi.

Edited excepts:

You have been appointed part-time member of the Sebi board. What is the first call of action?

I will attend the Sebi board meeting slated for August 24.

I have been given the agenda papers and will be briefed about it. Based on that, I will contribute in the board meeting.

Since your appointment to the Sebi board, there has been a controversy surrounding your political connections. How do you react to that?

Please understand I am a senior advocate, I am also a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP man.

I have been in the RSS since childhood and in the BJP since the Jan Sangh days.

I have also contested Lok Sabha polls.

That aside, I understand the differences between politics and market issues.

As a lawyer, I will have views independent of biases.

For BJP critics, the biggest bone of contention is the manner in which you have been appointed. How do you defend that?

The question of my defence does not arise.

If at all, it is the government that has to defend my appointment.

As far as the appointment is concerned, the government must have looked at it for some time and considered all aspects.

The finance secretary has already clarified that my credentials have been verified.

I am a political man; there is no doubt about that.

In fact, the ministry is aware of my political connections.

Even today, I visit the BJP office. But that is a different issue altogether.

Do you meet the other criteria for a Sebi part-time board member?

I am certainly not an employee of Sebi.

I am a senior advocate and no one is designated a senior advocate just like that, as the whole court sits together and all the judges take a decision in that regard. I have been a senior advocate for almost 15 years.

I am also a tax lawyer and have appeared in a number of matters.

The question being posed is I have been appointed because of my BJP connections; I am not denying that fact.

The BJP is in power and it has to select its own candidates, who adhere to its ideologies. It might have thought I am the right man for the job.

As a part-time board member, what will you bring to the table?

Sebi is being touted as a watchdog over black money and who would fit into the present scheme of things better than I?

As a senior tax lawyer, I can clearly distinguish between what is black money and what is not. In fact, people should compliment the government for appointing me.

A basic Indian Revenue Service man on the board wouldn’t be able to do the job.

Generally, I represent other people who allegedly have black money and that is the reason I will have a better sight of the issue.

Typically, IRS officials have a particular approach but that is not exactly correct, as not all money is black.

As an independent member, I will be able to bring in transparency on multiple issues.

A special investigation team has highlighted how the stock market is being used for creation of black money, both abroad and in domestic markets. What is your take on that?

I think the black money market is much larger compared to whatever is stashed in Swiss banks, though I will have to look into the matter before I form an opinion.

However, I would like to add that stock exchanges have been used for tax evasion and black money creation in the past as well.

What other pertinent issues would you like to focus on?

Another issue I think is important is that pertaining to regional stock exchanges; most of them have shut operations.

No one has gone into why these regional stock exchanges were shut.

As a part-time member, I would like to know why they were shut. Transparency is needed from that angle, too.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Sanjay Jog and Jayshree P Upadhyay in Mumbai
Source: source

Moneywiz Live!