Anil Kakodkar Appointed Illegally in IIT: Smriti

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New Delhi: Union minister Smriti Irani today broke her silence on the controversial resignation of Anil Kakodkar from the IIT-Bombay’s board of governors and Ms Irani said, had tried to push his own candidate for the post of a director of the premier tech institutes, even though the person had not applied for the post.

When called out on the issue on the eve of a crucial meeting of the selection panel and told what he was doing was “illegal”, Mr Kakodkar, she said, “was visibly upset because an upstart of a minister said ‘follow the law’.”

Mr Irani said, “eminence does not give you the right to break the law”.

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At the time, Ms Irani had said the directors had resigned due to personal reasons and denied reports of a rift with Mr Kakodkar. When Mr Kakodkar resigned, Ms Irani said she had asked whether he would complete his term, and he had agreed.

Mr Kakodkar, who quit the IIM post in March, had said he had differences with the Ministry over the selection process of IIT directors, which he had described as “too casual” and “like running a lottery”. He said he resigned as he did not wish to be a part of that process.

“An attempt was made to deviate from the due process was stopped by me but I was pragmatic enough to say that you are in a leadership role, would you like to fulfill his obligation to the institution and he said yes,” she said.