Arun Sathe, elder brother of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and a former RSS full-timer, has been appointed as a member on the board of markets regulator Sebi and the government defended the step saying he is “well qualified” for the position.
As the appointment raised questions about the political appointments in a key regulatory institution, Sathe on his part said he would do his job judiciously and there is nothing wrong in “being an RSS man”.
Sathe, a lawyer by profession, has been appointed by the central government as a “Part-Time Member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for a period of three years”, as per a Finance Ministry notification.
“I have been an active member of the BJP. I was its National Executive member. I am an RSS man. So, what’s wrong in it?” Sathe told PTI while adding that he has been nominated by the Finance Ministry on the Sebi board.
Sathe had unsuccessfully fought Lok Sabha elections as a BJP candidate in 1989 from Mumbai North-West against Congress’ Sunil Dutt.
Defending the appointment, Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said Sathe is well qualified and a person of high integrity and there is no reason for any controversy.
“He is well qualified to be a part-time member of Sebi. I do not see any reason for controversy and from what we have checked, he has high integrity. We did our own checks before appointing him… He is a leading lawyer,” Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said.
At present one more position is vacant on Sebi’s board and its Chairman U K Sinha’s current tenure will also end in a few months. Some positions are vacant on the RBI board as well, while more vacancies are scheduled to come up soon at Sebi, RBI and other regulatory bodies where incumbents were appointed during the previous UPA government.