New Delhi: Former TRAI Chairman Nripendra Misra was Wednesday appointed Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the government promulgated an Ordinance to amend a law that could have prevented him from getting the key post.
Misra is a 1967—batch retired IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre and his appointment will be co-terminus with the term of the Prime Minister or till further orders, according to an order issued by the Ministry of Personnel.
69—year—old Misra, who has served in various capacities in the government, retired as the Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in 2009.
The TRAI Act prohibits its Chairman and members from taking up any other job in the Central or State Governments after demitting office.
“The Chairperson or any other member ceasing to hold office as such, shall —— (a) be ineligible for further employment under the Central Government or any State Government or (b) not accept any commercial employment, for a period of two years from the date he ceases to hold such office,” says the TRAI Act of 1997 available on the Law Ministry’s website.
To circumvent this section which would have barred Misra from taking up the assignment of Principal Secretary to PM, the Modi Government promulgated an Ordinance amending it.
The Ordinance amends this section to read as : “The Chairperson and the whole—time members shall not, for a period of two years from the date on which they cease to hold office as such, except with the previous approval of the Central government, accept ——
“(a) any employment either under the Central Government or under any State Government; or “(b) any appointment in any company in the business of telecommunication service.”