An Intelligence Bureau report alleging “misconduct” by the former high-profile CEO of National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) Raghu Raman was a key factor in the NDA government’s decision not to give him an extension beyond the end of his tenure on May 31.
Sources have confirmed to The Indian Express that the IB’s adverse report alleged personal and professional misconduct by Raman involving foreign nationals.
This report, sources said, was presented to the UPA government, too, which ignored it and cleared his appointment co-terminus with the project in April this year.
However, this report was then flagged to Home Minister Rajnath Singh when Raman’s term came up for extension. Singh decided against an extension. When asked about the IB’s allegations, Raman told The Indian Express: “I am not aware of the report.”
One of the UPA’s biggest showpiece internal security projects, NATGRID was conceived in 2008 after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai as an intelligence database that would have networked 21 sets of data sources to provide quick and secure access of information to about 10 intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. These data sources include records related to immigration entry and exit, banking and financial transactions.
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Raman was appointed as CEO on December 1, 2009. He is a retired military officer who was working as CEO of Mahindra Defence Land System.
A source close to Raman said that “since he came from the private sector and was well networked with security agencies in Israel and Britain, an adverse impression would have been made against him. He had run-ins with the IB on various issues regarding the functioning of NATGRID as the intelligence agency always wanted it to be under their control.”