Controversy arises over Arun Sathe's appointment to SEBI
Controversy has arisen over Sathe's appointment to the SEBI board at a time when the government is being accused of political influence in key positions. Sathe says that there was nothing wrong with being an "RSS man" and that his job was merely part-time. He declared that he would carry out his duties as asked to by the Finance Ministry, judiciously and without fault.
Arun Sathe appointed part-time member of SEBI
A notice issued by the Ministry of Finance on 28 July appointed Shri Arun Sathe as a Part-Time Member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The notice further said that the post would be held by him for a period of three years from the date he would assume the office, or until further orders, "whichever is earlier."
Who is Arun Sathe?
Arun Sathe, 75, is one of the prominent tax lawyers of the country He was also a national executive member of BJP and a RSS member in the past; he has also held various ABVP positions in his student days He is the brother of Sumitra Mahajan, the Lok Sabha Speaker. In 1989, he had fought Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North-West against Congress.
What is SEBI?
Established in 1988, the Securities and Exchange Board of India is the regulator for the securities market in India. SEBI drafts regulations, conducts investigation and enforcement action and passes rulings and orders on the securities market.
Who comprises the SEBI?
The SEBI board has 9 members. It has representatives from the finance ministry, corporate affairs ministry and the Reserve Bank and two other part time members, apart from the Chairman and 3 full time members. PC Chhotaray ceased to be a member of SEBI board in August. Amongst the other members are Anjuly Chib Dugga, Manoj Joshi and the deputy RBI governor, R Gandhi.
How is the government involved?
At the moment, there are a number of vital positions at regulatory positions that are due to become vacant and the government will be required to fill them. Two more are on the SEBI board; a few are in RBI. The position was given to Sathe under a provision of the SEBI act which allows the government to appoint five members on the board.
Finance Ministry stands up for Sathe
The Finance Ministry has, in the face of this controversy, stood up for Sathe. It said that it believed that Sathe, who has served on the board of various independent companies, was qualified to be dispensing the duties expected of him. It stated that it had done its routine checks on him and found him full of integrity; further, he is a leading lawyer.