Ashok Lavasa Appointed To Asian Development Bank, To Quit Election Body

Ashok Lavasa made news after a dissenting opinion on a complaint regarding PM Modi

New Delhi:

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has been appointed as a Vice President of the Asian Development Bank, the multilateral funding agency announced Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Lavasa, 62, will resign from his position on the poll panel soon.

He was appointed in January 2018 and has two years left in his tenure. He is also next in line to succeed chief election commissioner Sunil Arora to the top post in April next year.

The government will now appoint a new CEC after Mr Arora completes his term.

“Mr Lavasa has a long and distinguished career in the Indian civil service. He is currently one of the Election Commissioners of India and previously served in a range of senior posts,” a statement from the ADB (Asian Development Bank) said.

#ADBNEWS: ADB has appointed Ashok Lavasa as Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public–Private Partnerships. He will succeed Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on 31 August.

Read the official announcement ⬇️

— Asian Development Bank (@ADB_HQ) July 15, 2020

“He has extensive experience in public-private partnerships and infrastructure development at state and federal levels, with deep knowledge on public policy and role of private sector,” the bank added,

Ashok Lavasa made headlines last year after a dissenting opinion on the panel’s ruling of complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah during the Lok Sabha election campaign.

Six complaints were filed against the Prime Minister. Mr Lavasa disagreed with his panel colleagues in some of these cases.

He soon stopped attending meetings, saying “minority decisions” were being “suppressed in a manner contrary to well-established conventions observed by multi-member statutory bodies”.

In December last year Mr Lavasa, in an article in The Indian Express, wrote: “The honest, however, go on regardless, perhaps driven by an inner force that borders on recklessness. A society that creates hurdles which exhaust the honest or wound them paves the path for its own perdition”.

This was two months after an income tax notice was sent to his wife, Novel S Lavasa over alleged discrepancies in filings. Sources said information had been sought “related to foreign exchange”. Mrs Lavasa said she had “paid all taxes due” and “disclosed all income” and that she was cooperating.

Earlier the Enforcement Directorate started an investigation against Mr Lavasa’s son, Abir Lavasa, and the company in which he is a director, for alleged violation of foreign exchange laws.

Ashok Lavasa has a business degree from Australia and a degree in Defense and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras.

With input from PTI

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