New Delhi: The government has asked 11 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) if Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa used any ‘undue influence’ during his stint as special secretary in the Ministry of Power from 2019-2013, states a report in the Indian Express.
The development comes just months after three members of his family-wife, sister and son-were served notice, in separate cases, by the Income Tax Department for alleged tax evasion.
The report states that a confidential communication, dated August 29, was issued to the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) with the approval of the Power Secretary. The communication stated it has been alleged that during his tenure as special secretary in the Power Ministry, from September 2009 to December 2013, used his official position to benefit few companies/associate companies.
Attached with the letter, among several things, is a list of 14 companies, all of which are engaged in power and renewable energy sector, on which the EC’s wife Noel served as director, the Indian Express report adds.
The CVOs have been asked to verify records of their respective PSUs for any evidence regarding ‘misuse of power’ by Lavasa. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Power Finance Corporation (PFC) are among the PSUs to have been contacted by the government.
Lavasa came to the public eye after he dissented with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora over clean chits to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during campaigning for the 2019 general elections.
Notably, he was also missing from the recent Election Commission press briefing in which it announced the poll schedule for the Assembly Election in Jharkhand.