Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh, who is accused of having alleged links with the country’s greatest tax swindler Hasan Ali, will not further enjoy his constitutional privilege. This will perhaps be the first instance of a person holding constitutional post being subjected to investigation while in office; the Central government has given its consent to the Enforcement Directorate for grilling Iqbal Singh. Prime Minister, sensing the gravity of the new built anti-corruption momentum, has done a commendable job for having allowed the ED to confront with Iqbal Singh, which is justified and also need of the hour. There is no moral that the persons sitting in such constitutional posts will get privilege in the sector which does not come directly under their purview. Recommending for the passport for someone is not a constitutional obligation. It should be expected that the decision regarding Iqbal Singh will set a good precedent for the future. However, the moot point comes will ED be capable enough to interrogate him regarding his association with the tax swindler Hasan Ali, because he is still sitting on the high pedestal of constitutional post? This situation is not befitting a person of his stature.

It is intriguing that the Congress-led government gave Iqbal a reprieve by giving options with him to either continue or relinquish his post while facing the ED. Needless to say that the Congress-led government has catapulted him to the post of deputy governor. It is fine that Iqbal Singh has given his clarification that he had given his clearance for issuing passport to Hasan Ali immediately. Whatever may be the truth, he is now under scanner and the stature of his constitutional post compels him to step down, because recommending for the passport to a person without knowing his credence is not a small issue. If he faces Enforcement Directorate in his capacity of deputy governor, it will set a wrong precedent. One could not ignore the fact that the probe into Hasan Ali’s case should have been completed much earlier. It is crystal clear that there has been a deliberate bid to procrastinate the investigation because writing was clear on the wall -- the probe would open a can of worms and that has already happened.