Sebis Uninspired Selections For EDs

Updated: Dec 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
One knows that an Executive Directors (ED) job at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is a coveted one and, therefore, the recent selection of two EDs was preceded by a lot of political lobbying and manoeuvring. Naturally, the final selection too has led to a lot of sniping and some funny situations.

One of the EDs had apparently tried for the post of Executive Director of several stock exchanges including Delhi, Mumbai, Rajkot and Vadodara bourses and had been rejected by all. Ironically, the man comes in as the boss of all those at the bourses and Sebi who had rejected him for the EDs post. That these appointments should happen even before the Joint Parliament Committee (JPC) report was released is a clear indication that politicians continue to dictate Sebis moves.

And thats not all. If choosing the wrong people is one side of the coin, eliminating qualified candidates is the other. One such elimination was that of former IPS officer, Sanjay Pandey. The officer, who is an IIT Kharagpur engineer in computer science, had made waves in Mumbai for taking on the Shiv Sena during the 1992 riots and unravelling high profile investigations including the cobbler scam. When he was hounded out by the Maharashtra political bosses, he took off to Harvard on an Edward Mason fellowship and quit the police after his return to join Tata Consultancy Services.

There he is understood to have developed security software for the National Stock Exchange and National Securities Depository Ltd. Despite these qualifications, Pandey didnt even make it to the shortlist of 23 for the EDs post. Whats more, Pandeys application has simply disappeared. He has now written to Sebi, the finance ministry and the Central Vigilance Commission asking them what happened. Obviously, the contretemps over Sebis selection of EDs is far from over. Eavesdropper wonders how much worse it will get when Sebi has to select three members for its board of directors!