Thursday, 8 January 2009

Bihar IAS officer, TIME Asian Heroes of 2004, corrupted officer Gautam Goswami no more

Gautam Goswami, A true example of oscillating life to the two extremes is no more. He was an IAS officer, TIME Asian hero of 2004, accused in the infamous flood-relief scam passed away on Jan 5, 2009.

A 1991-batch officer(with ID no 01BH042600), Goswami, also an MBBS and MD from BHU. He had received a gold medal for topping the MBBS exam from Benaras Hindu University. He became a hero when he literally put his hand on microphones to prevent the then Union home minister, Lal Krishna Advani, from continuing his speech at an election rally in Patna in 2004. “Sir, your time is up,” the officer told the minister referring to the Election Commission’s model code of conduct which proscribed use of public address system after 10 pm. Later Time magazine also conferred the “Asian Hero” award on Goswami.

Later in the same year 2004, during the flood in Bihar, his life got a dramatic turn. Goswami later quit the IAS and went on to join a private firm even before his resignation was accepted. In the meantime, his name figured in an FIR lodged in connection with the swindling fund which was meant for providing relief to flood-affected people in the state in 2004. Goswami, who was in charge of the relief operations in the north Bihar districts in 2004, became the main accused in the Rs 250-crore scandal. A court issued an arrest warrant in 2005. Goswami surrendered in June that year and was remanded in judicial custody. The government suspended him from service and he was jailed for 17 months with 10 other prominent government officials.

Goswami was diagnosed to be suffering from cancer in early 2008. The Bihar government revoked his suspension on December 8, 2008, on “humanitarian” grounds.
TIME magazine once wrote, “Goswami’s reputation for upholding the law improves the image of a civil service perceived by many Indians as corrupt or inefficient.” But he ended his life as a corrupted officer.

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