Following controversy involving him in Hasan Ali case
Following reports that an Enforcement Directorate notice is likely to be issued to Vijay Shankar Pandey, Principal Secretary to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in a money laundering case, the State government has shunted him to the Board of Revenue in Lucknow as its member.
“The issue does not concern Chief Minister Mayawati or her office,” the government said.
(According to reports, the ED will question Mr. Pandey and Puducherry Lt. Governor Iqbal Singh in connection with a passport procured by the Pune-based stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan and some investments he made abroad.)
In Saturday's major administrative reshuffle, Mr. Pandey was divested of his position as Principal Secretary, Information, Secretariat Administrative Department and Food and Drug Administration. In administrative circles, a posting in the Board of Revenue is considered punitive.
The Commissioner of the Lucknow Division, Prashant Trivedi, has been given additional charge as Principal Secretary, Information and Public Relations Department.
Clarifying the government's position, Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, told journalists here that ED notice was a personal matter concerning Mr. Pandey and Jasvir Singh, an IPS officer posted as Deputy Inspector-General (Training). However, given the seriousness of the issue, Mr. Pandey was shifted from his present position, the Cabinet Secretary said.
“If any investigation is initiated against the officer, it will be his personal accountability and does not concern the State government.” It had not been informed by these individuals. The State government “does not have any information on any issue, particularly concerning the Enforcement Directorate, and no agency of the government of India has sought any information from the State government.”
An IAS officer of the 1979 batch, Mr. Pandey was among the U.P. cadre bureaucrats who had launched a campaign to identify the three most corrupt babus in the late 1990s. He was appointed Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister when Ms. Mayawati formed the government in 2007 and he rose to become Additional Cabinet Secretary before he was stripped of that position in April last year.