OFF THE RECORD


Impersonating at the Bar

Can a retired IPS officer be an advocate? Yes, if he has a law degree and a license from a Bar Council. But can he be working as a cobbler after his retirement?
During the election to the Delhi Bar Council, a person approached the returning officer (RO) seeking his right to vote — claiming to be Amod Kanth.

When the RO raised his head to look at the voter, he found the person standing in front of him was the cobbler who sits outside the gate of district courts at Tis Hazari.

“Are you Amod Kanth, the retired IPS officer? I think you had polished my shoes a few days back,’’ he confronted the cobbler, who had been carrying out his job there for the past several years.

Sensing trouble, the cobbler escaped before the police could be summoned.
Around 4 pm, the real Kanth arrived to cast his vote. This time, despite knowing him well, the RO did not take a chance. He demanded his Bar Council identity card as proof of his registration.

Kanth, an Union Territory cadre IPS officer, is now chairperson, Delhi Commission for Protection of the Rights of Children. He retired as the DGP of Arunachal Pradesh. He was with the Delhi Police for more than two decades holding several posts. Kanth even tried his luck in the last Delhi assembly election with a Congress ticket, unsuccessfully.

Pratap Patnaik, New Delhi

ICAR goes ‘fishing’

After almost one and half years, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) seems to have discovered its new director general — who will take charge on Jan 1.
Interestingly, the new boss of the ICAR is an expert on fisheries. Though the appointment is yet to be made public, it is learnt that eyebrows have been raised within the system.

Even though Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar does not have any issue in appointing a fisheries scientist as the ICAR chief, he turned down an earlier choice — an expert on animal sciences from the northeast. Then, Pawar argued that it is desirable to have a crop scientist to head the ICAR.

Both selections were made by an expert panel headed by former Union science minister Y K Alag. Only because of the rejection of the animal scientist, the present ICAR boss Mangala Rai was given an unusual six-month extension so that the Alag panel could find another candidate.

Finally, the panel ‘fished’ hard to find the new boss.

Kalyan Ray, New Delhi

Former CMs on a mission

All four former chief ministers, since Jharkhand state’s creation, have opted out of the electoral race this time, virtually springing a surprise of sorts.

All of them are now MPs.

These leaders loathe local politics now. By all accounts, their move appears to be a wily strategy to take a leap in state politics.

The BJP star campaigner, Arjun Munda, maintains a studied silence over the state’s future CM, if the NDA is voted to power. After the third phase of polling, JMM chief Shibu Soren has hinted at aligning with another party to install a popular government. “JMM strived hard for Jharkhand’s formation. Now it’s our turn to ensure its development,” Soren declares.

Trying to acquire some space in state politics, Babulal Marandi — first CM and chief of JVM-P — who has a pre-poll pact with the Congress, also fancies the chief minister’s chair. “Why rule anyone out. Having come this far, all I can say is the Congress-JVM-P axis is close to clinching the power,” Marandi said.

However, on the other side, jailed ex-CM Madhu Koda has fielded wife Gita Koda
from Jagannathpur seat, a constituency represented twice by himself. It will not be a surprise if she turns out to be another Rabri Devi in case the voters give a fractured mandate.

Sandeep Bhaskar, Ranchi

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