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Bengal guv seeks report on tainted bizman’s govt panel inclusion

On 20 April, quoting a state government notification, it was reported that the West Bengal government had formed this committee with Roy as its chairman.

IANS | Kolkata |

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday summoned West Bengal chief secretary HK Dwivedi to seek clarification on the appointment of Kaustav Roy, a local businessman with a debatable background, as chairman of the state government’s programme monitoring committee.

The committee is meant for planning and monitoring of welfare and development schemes of the state government.

On 20 April, quoting a state government notification, it was reported that the West Bengal government had formed this committee with Roy as its chairman. The appointment was made ignoring the facts that Roy, a Kolkata-based businessman, was involved in multiple sectors like computer, software and media. In March 2018, he, as the director of RP Infosystems, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with a Rs 515-crore bank fraud scam involving a consortium of banks, including Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank.

In the same report it was also mentioned that in September last year, a Bengali channel owned by Roy, received a caution of cancellation of license from the Union information and broadcasting citing the Union home ministry’s denial of “security clearance”.

Besides seeking clarification in this matter, the governor also sought clarifications from the state chief secretary on the recent police raids by the state police without search warrants at the MLA office of Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the opposition in West Bengal assembly, at Nandigram.

Dhankhar informed about his decision to summon the chief secretary through a Twitter message released on Tuesday morning: “Chief secretary @chief_west will brief Guv at 11 AM today on “criminal trespass at office-cum-residence @SuvenduWB in Nandigram,” issues flagged including appointment of Shri Kaustav Roy, as Chairman Committee for planning and monitoring of welfare and development schemes.”

On 20 May, when Kaustav Roy was contacted for his comments on this appointment, he denied having knowledge of his appointment as the chairman of the programme monitoring committee. “You might have got a copy of a notification. But I do not have any knowledge about being appointed in a state government committee,” Roy said.