P.Swaminathan's Appeal to CVC dated 25/8/08

Ref: CVC/611/05/10/appeal

Dated : Aug. 25, 2008

To

The Additional Secretary,
Ex-Officio Appellate Authority,
Central Vigilance Commission,
Satarkta Bhawan, Block A,
GPO Complex, INA New
Delhi-110023

email: ni.cin|atpug.rkteeniv#ni.cin|atpug.rkteeniv

Respected Sir,

I have lodged a complaint at CVC and my Complaint has been registered by CVC under Ref:611/05/10.

Initially CVC in its public domain stated the status of the case is as "Administrative Action has been taken".

When I pointed out that Officials connected with the case have in fact been allowed to resign and some of them with their Secretary (Personal Assistant) even took-up the employment at NIOT's Contractors (3rd party design consultant & 3rd party Inspection Agency for TDV Ship on which my complaint is related) CVC in its public domain updated the status as "CVO examining the case". Subsequently CVC updated the status as "Commission advised closure of the case on 30.3.2007". However, the status update in CVC Public domain has been made only during April, 2008 - almost after one year.

I took so much risk in lodging the complaint in public interest. As a courtesy, I was not even given a formal communication about the closure of the case and also reason for Commission advising closure of the case.

As per the CVC practice individual communication may not be encouraged because of work load, but I honestly feel that it is not prohibited. I took so much risk in handling this case and also resigned from NIOT only to protect the interest of the Government and also to keep away from non-transparent activities. One of the motto of the CVC is to ensure transparency in governance apart from eradication of corruption and misuse of office and to recommend appropriate action. While handling the complaint under reference, I honestly feel that CVC has given a raw deal in spite of the fact that the person who lodged the complaint is the person who handled the case initially and who had first hand information on the case. I have also filed the complaint only on issues where complete evidences are available at NIOT records itself and wherever, I cannot produce evidences, I have not included the issues in the complaint.

I wish to give below the back-ground of the case :-

"In fact I have shown maximum restraint in handling the Complaint to CVC. After leaving a prestigious Class I Gazetted Post in a most envious Central Government Department (Department of Space) on VR, I took up re-employment (for short term) at NIOT during April 2002. During my service, I found that activities at NIOT are not very transparent and hence, I sought for exit from NIOT service immediately after lapse of 1 year contract and took exit after 2 months notice. This exit I have chosen in spite of financial losses and also I never wanted to make fuss on issues.

Visibly uncomfortable with my exit again NIOT offered employment to me and I accepted it as I gained confidence that any amount of inducement will not deter me in discharging my duties without bias to protect the Government interest. When Tendering process for TDV Ship was initiated, I understood the foul-play planed and because this, I have resigned from NIOT service. Again not comfortable with my exit from NIOT service, inducement through Mr. Ragul, Director, Results Private Ltd., Chennai was made by offering employment at Results Private Ltd., which I have refused to accept.

During this phase only I was handling the Contracts connected with M/s. Seaproof, Norway and also TDV Ship Tender processing.

While handling the conflict of interest I have tried my level best to correct the Officials. I explained the consequences of non-transparent tendering process to Indentor (Mr. Janikaraman, Manager, VMC, NIOT, then to Director, NIOT and then to Vigilance Officer at NIOT, and also appraised the Committee constituted by Director NIOT to resolve my complaint. I have also explained to all of them that one cannot escape from the eye of CAG, CVC, CBI who will take severe action on all administrative lapses (of course my assumption has now went wrong, which I have to admit) and in spite of my sincere efforts there was no takers for my advices. When all my attempts failed I have submitted my resignation letter and then only I have released the Public Tender Notice in the Web. As I know very well that Tender evaluation will not be transparent, I took exit from NIOT service before Techno-commercial evaluation. Every deviation what NIOT have adopted in finalizing the TDV Ship contract was pre-planned and with the full knowledge that they are criminally violating the Government procedures.

Let me explain few things which will reveal what respects NIOT Officials gives to Government who sanction Grants. NIOT activities are guided by Finance Committee (FC) and Governing Council (GC). CVC can obtain the Minutes of FC & GC meeting and verify to what extent NIOT have implemented their FC & GC decisions.

M/s. Seaproof, Norway, in one of the communications stated that all specifications (Indent/Tendering specifications) have been given by them (M/s. Seaproof, Norway) during their meeting with Mr. Ghosh (indentor at NIOT) at Russia (an unethical practice of discussing Institution's requirements with the Vendor before Tender processing). When I pointed out this as lapse on the part of the Indentor (Mr. Ghosh), the response was that he is not standing in shallow water but on strong rock and no one can shake him and also warned me serious repercussions. This incidence was immediately reported to Director, NIOT and an open enquiry was conducted by Director, NIOT in the presence of Vigilance Officer and all other Head of Departments and Mr. Ghosh was reprimanded orally for his action because of my complaint.

Few of my complaints covered in my earlier communications are highlighted below:-

1) Import of TDV ship costing Rs.240.00 crores:

The Indent specification and the estimated cost (Rs.150.00 crores) were all tentative just to manipulate the tendering process.

Techno-commercial bid submitted by the selected Tenderer M/s.Fincanri was in complete and liable for disqualification. Entire Tender opening process was Video recorded by NIOT and the incompleteness of this Offer/bid has been openly admitted in the presence of the representatives of M/s. Finacanri who never took objection to this remarks. CD available at NIOT can be examined to this respect. They have not given their acceptance to the NIOT's Tender Terms and conditions and also not declared their Indian Agent (they are represented by M/s Results Private Ltd., Chennai) and also the Indian Agency Commission payable to them. No Indian agent will extent service free of cost. Some tenderers have declared that Indian Agency commission payable by them is 10% of the Contract value. At the time of Indent raising, Tender process and until finalization of Techno-commercial Offer, M/s. VikSandvik, Norway (third party designer) have not provided the final TDV Ship specification, which is a serious vialation of Tendering procedure. Very simple question ios when tender/contract finalisation process took more than one year, why there was hurry in issue of Public Tender Notice without finalising the specification and ascertaining the estimated cost. If the entire procesds is properly planned, entire process of finalising Contract will not take more than 3 Months.

The estimated cost of the Indent was Rs.150.00 crores whereas the lowest Bid value was Rs.320.00 which has been brought down to Rs.240.00 crores after techno-commercial price negotiation (held at Cochin where neither NIOT nor the Tenderer has Office or activity) by relaxing the TDV Ship Specifications. Every action of NIOT in finalizing the TDV ship contract is blatant violation of Government rules and regulation and CVC guidelines and NIOT Officials were before hand appraised of the the rules position well.

When CVC and CAG examining the case, all Officials with their Secretaries (Personal Assistant), Vigilance Officer have all resigned from NIOT services and some Officials viz. Mr. Janakiraman, Manager, VMC (Indentor) along with his Secretary Ms. Rajeswari and Mr. Shajahan have all took up employment at NIOT Contractor M/s. VikSandvik, Norway (who just opened their Branch Office at Chennai and accommodated these Officials at its inception) M/s. VikSandvik is a third party designer and Inspection Agency for TDV ship contracted. Both Government rules as well as NIOT contract with M/s. VikSandvik prohibit NIOT Officials taking up or offering employment at Contractor's Office.

Mr. TP Rangamaran who handled the TDV Ship Contract was recruited on short term Contract basis. He had no prior experience in Contract Management or in Materials Management and he was working in a Hotel looking after Accounts. He was recruited after age bar without existence of any vacancy. Further he was given promotion to the level of class I Gazetted Officer before putting in service of 3 years. He was discharging the duties of Purchase Officer when he was handling Tendering and Contract process. When case file moved to payment stages he was made as Accounts Officer treating him Jack of all. He was also offered fixed scale and liberal Consultancy fee against Government norms and procedure. This is a clear case of misuse of Official powers and transparent way of corruption.

Similar is the case with Mr. Henry and Mr. N.Subramanian (both were controlling Administration, Recruitment, Finance and Accounts and Audit). They are ex-employees of AG's Office and IIT Chennai. They were drawing two pensions and their pay at NIOT was regulated without following Government rules. Apart from this they were getting large sum as Consultancy fee for practically no productive work. This is a clear case of abuse of Official powers and transparent way of corruption.

One can review the Contracts finalized with M/s. Seaproof, Norway - every thing are manipulated - Indentor Mr. Ghosh has obtained specifications from M/s. Seaproof, Norway during their Meeting at Russia just to suit the products that can be offered only by Seaproof, Norway. M/s. Seaproof Norway shipment has not been inspected prior to shipment/HAT and the shipment was kept at Chennai Sea Port for several months without taking over the equipment.

M/s. Seaproof, Norway have effected the shipment of defective Cable (worth about Rs.2.00 crores) with defective packing and converted the defects as transit damage. During the joint survey, I have proved that there was not damage to the material and damages is not seen by naked eye. Several photographs taken on the shipment will prove that the cable is not damaged, but its non-functionality is a clear case of defective supply.

All people connected with the case viz. Mr. TP Rangamaran, (in-charge for stores) Mr. Ahmed, Stores & Customs clearance person, Mr. Binu (indentor's representative) and Mr. Atmanand (Indentor) all have reported the defects in cable as damage to consignment that too just one day after expiry of Insurance policy to make the claim as time barred. This is to ensure that NIOT cannot claim on Insurance as well as on the exporter. Indentor has also ensured that identical cable requirement has been included in Mr. Ghosh requirement (duplicate procurement).

In spite of several hurdles and non-cooperation from NIOT Official, I have ensured that M/s. Seaproof Norway arrange settlement of claim (they have processed the insurance claim) On NIOT part I have ensured that no insurance claim is filed on Underwriters directly by NIOT as Cable defect is mfg. defect and not transit damage. Only when Underwriters accepted to settle claim made by Seaproof, Norway, NIOT has made Bill of Claim specifying the claim amount only.

M/s. Seaproof have passed on the claim amount partially and after my resignation, NIOT Officials did not even bother to obtain full claim amount (what has been realized by M/s. Seaproof) which is an unintended benefit to M/s. Seaproof and loss to NIOT. Interestingly, NIOT paid huge claim Processing fee to a private Indian Insurance Agent by manipulating that the claim was processed by them - the fact is that I have processed the claim on supplier and obtained the claim settlement.

When the case is on the above line, Mr. Ghosh and Mr. Binu were allowed to resign from NIOT service when CAG and CVC were examining the case and Mr. Atmanand was made in-charge of Purchase & Stores (after my leaving from NIOT). Mr. Shajahan has replaced Mr. Ghosh and Mr. Shajahan has also later allowed to resign from NIOT to take up employment at NIOT's Contractors office viz. at M/s. VikSandvik, Norway (who have just opened a Branch Office at Chennai to accommodate NIOT Officials).

Mr. Karuna (Helper) was found to be suspicious character and he was transferred to other section from Purchase & Stores. He was re-instated in Purchase & Stores after my leaving NIOT. Mr. Karuna (Helper) and Mr. Murugan (driver) were caught by Security on theft case. Immediately, both Mr. Karuna & Mr. Murugan were allowed to resign without filing FIR in Police Station. Mr. Karuna was later offered employment in an organisation where one Mr. Soundararajan (ex. OTEC-NIOT Official) works.

NIOT's OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) Project has been closed without even producing one watt of electricity after spending hundreds crores of rupees over a period of 15 years. The capital equipment like Power Turbine procured have not even been tested and commissioned. Even waiver has been given for vibration test for Power Turbine. But people worked in this project has been given double promotion without following rules.

In my earlier complaint I have reported non-accounting of Gold purchased from Jewelery shop and also Jungle clearances etc., As per fair procurement practice, Gold need to be procured from Banks.

For all my complaints there are sufficient evidences are available in NIOT records itself.

None can find a justifiable answer for the following :-

1) When Mr. Janakiraman (Manager) resigns from why he need to take away his Secretary also and offer alternative employment.

2) When Vigilance Officer resigns, why his Secretary was allowed to to resign.

3) When Mr. Ghosh resigns from NIOT why Mr. Binu and others were allowed to resign and offered alternative employment.

4) Why Mr. Atmanand (who handled M/S. Seaproof Contracts with Mr. Ghosh and Mr. Binu) was made in-charge of Purchase & Stores.

5) When CVC was examining the case, on one hand all Officials connected with the case were allowed to resign (by systematically leaking confidential enquries by CVC or CVO) and on the other hand Contract for TDV Ship was finalised without even getting CVC clearance. Normally for appoints to Class I gazetted Officials and when relieving Class I Gazetted Officials, CVC clearances are obtaioned especially when CVC through CVO was examining certain cases.

I honestly feel that "Commission advising closure of the case" is not justified and I don't think that CVC have discretionary power of advising closure of the case when there is sufficient evidences are available in the records. Creation of CVC is to ensure transparent, clean governance and also CVC is entrusted with the responsibility of eradicating corruption in Government Institutions and discourage misuse of Official power.

In view of the above, I earnestly request the Honorable Appellate Authority at Central Vigilance Commission to reexamine the case and to do justice for my complaint.

Thanking your, I beg to remain Sir,

Sincerely,

P.Swaminathan

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