Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

A whistle Blower’s tale: The judgement makes an point that a note file is crucial to find out corruption in a transaction. Without notefile a file has no life. The right to information Act would be toothless without the notefile coming under the RTI’s purview.

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 23, 2006

A whistle Blower’s tale:  The judgement makes an point that a note file is crucial to find out corruption in a transaction. Without notefile a file has no life. The right to information Act would be toothless without the notefile coming under the RTI’s purview.

A whistle Blower’s tale:

Copy of Madras High Court’s judgement in the Cremation Sheds scam dated 27th Feb.1995. Mr. C. Umashankar, IAS was the Prosecution Witness Number One.

The year: 1995 (November)

My designation during the relevant period: Additional Collector (Development) and Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency, Madurai.

Subject: The Madras High Court directed me to file an affidavit on the alleged corruption in Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (Jawahar Rural Employment Scheme) during November 1995. This was caused by my affidavit before the Central Administrative Tribunal, seeking to quash my transfer orders from Madurai to Chennai during November 1995.

The Madras High Court found force in my allegation and ordered a CBI enquiry. As a result, two former Ministers, three senior IAS officers and a host of others were prosecuted by CBI. Majority of them spent a few days/months in judicial custody.

The case is still on, even after 10 years.

The Madras High Court’s judgement is attached herewith.

The judgement makes an point that a note file is crucial to find out corruption in a transaction. Without notefile a file has no life. The right to information Act would be toothless without the notefile coming under the RTI’s purview.

Why now?: Mr.Srivasta Krisha, a junior IAS officer who serves with World Bank, Washington had called me a crank in an interview to DATAQUEST during Oct.2005. I was obliged to publish this piece of material to let my juniors such as Srivasta Krishna to know the real stuff of their seniors, at least a few of them who have the courage to take the system head on, in the interest of India’s future.

And of course the RTI Act had come into being on the 12th October 2005. There is a serious threat that the notefile may be gunned down. I wish to sensitise the leaders to leave the RTI as it is. The NOTEFILE should be covered by the RTI. This is the only protection available to the honest officers through the RTI. If the NOTEFILE is removed from the RTI Act’s purview, then India is going to be in Square one again!

View the judgement

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

(Special Original Jurisdiction)

Tuesday, the twenty seventh day of February one thousand nine hundred and ninety six.

Present:

The Honourable Mr.Justice ARUNACHALAM

and

The Honourable Mr.Justice JAYARAMA CHOUTA

W.P No.15929/95 and W.M.P Nos. 27523, 27524 and 27998 of 1995 respectively.

WP No.15929/95:

S.Gopalan .. Petitioner

 

-vs-

1. The State of TamilNadu rep. By the Chief Secretary, Fort St. George, Madras –9.

2. The State of TamilNadu, rep. By the Secretary, Rural Development & Local Administration, Fort St. George, madras-9.

3. The District Collector of Madurai.

4. The District Collector of Chengai MGR District.

5. The District Collector of Pudukottai. Pudukottai district.

6. The District Collector of Tiruchy, Tiruchirapalli.

7. C.Umashankar .. Respondents

 

WMP Nos. 27523 & 27524/95:

1. R.S. Bharathy .. Petitioner in both the petitions (Proposed petitioner in WP No.15929/95 on the file of this Court)

-vs-

1. The State of TamilNadu rep. By the Chief Secretary, Fort St. George, Madras –9.

2. The State of TamilNadu, rep. By the Secretary, Rural Development & Local Administration, Fort St. George, madras-9.

3. The District Collector of Madurai.

4. The District Collector of Chengai MGR District. .. Respondents in both the

5. The District Collector of Pudukottai. Pudukottai district. Petitions

6. The District Collector of Tiruchy, Tiruchirapalli. (Respondents 1 to 6 and

7. S.Gopalan Petitioner in do.)

W.M.P No. 27998 of 1995 :

Killivalavan .. Petitioner / Proposed Petitioner in WP No.15929

of 95 on the file of this Court.

-vs.

1. S.Gopalan, Vice President, Consumer

Protection Council, Tiruchy district … Respondent

2. The State of TamilNadu rep. By the Chief Secretary, Fort St. George, Madras –9.

3. The State of TamilNadu, rep. By the Secretary, Rural Development & Local Administration, Fort St. George, madras-9. .. Respondents / Petitioner

4. The District Collector of Madurai.

5. The District Collector of Chengai MGR District. ..

6. The District Collector of Pudukottai. Pudukottai district.

7. <!The District Collector of Tiruchy, Tiruchirapalli. (Respondents 1 to 6 and

Petitioner in do.)

Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying that in the circumstances stated therein, and in the affidavit filed therewith the High Court will be pleased to issue a writ of Mandamus directing the respondents herein to take action against those responsible for the looting of public (Central) funds allocation in Central Government Welfare Scheme viz., Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY).

WMP Nos. 27523, 27524 and 27998 of 1995.

Petitions presented to this Court to (1) implead the petitioner herein as a party in the said W.P.No. 15929 of 1995 (in W.M.P No. 27523/95) on the file of this Court; (2) grant interim direction to the Chief Secretary to the Government of TamilNadu to collect and produce all the files under the Rural Development Agency and the sale of Poromboke land situated near Marris theatre, Tiruchirapalli (in WMP No.27524/95) pending the said WP. No. 15929/95 on the file of this Court; and (3) permit the petitioner to be implead as a party respondent in the said W.P No.15929/95 on the file of this Court (in WMP No. 27988/95) respectively.

ORDER: This Write Petition and W.M.Ps coming on for hearing on Friday the 2nd day of February, 1996 and upon perusing the petition and W.M.Ps and the respective affidavits filed in support thereof the order of the High court dt. 20.11.1995 and made herein and the Counter affidavit filed herein and the records relevant to the prayer aforesaid comprised in the return of respondents to the Writ made by the High Court and upon hearing the arguments of Mr.P.Peppin Fernando, Advocate for the Petitioner, No.15929/95 and for the 7th respondent in W.M.P Nos. 27523 and 27524/95 and for the 1st respondent in W.P No. 15929/95 and of Mr.V.Selvaraj, Advocate for the 7th respondent in W.P No.15929/95 and for the petitioner in WMP. No. 27998/95, and having stood over for consideration till this day, the Court made the following order:-

ORDER.

 

ARUNACHALAM,J

The letters dated 1-11-1995 and 6-11-1995, addressed to the Honourable the Chief Justice, Madras along with Photostat copies of newspaper cuttings, were scrutinised by the Honourable Judge in charge of Public Interest Litigation cell and Honourable Chief Justice. On 14-11-1995 the Honourable the Chief Justice minuted as follows:

“Treat it as writ petition under the captain PIL”.

The further direction of the Honourable the Chief Justice was to post the said writ petition before our Division Bench.

2. On 20-11-1995, we passed the following orders:

“We have perused with care and circumspection the letters received from Petitioner S.Gopalan, addressed to the Honourable the Chief Justice, Madras. We are satisfied that a prima facie cause exists to treat the letter received from the petitioner as one relating to public interest.

2. On that basis, we admit this writ petition and direct issue of notices to Respondents 1 to 6 listed in the Writ Petition as well as to Thiru.C.Uma Shankar IAS., Additional Collector (Development), Madurai, returnable on 29-11-1995.

3. While forwarding notices to respondents, Registry shall append to the notice copy of the letter received from the petitioner as well as Xerox copies of the two news items forwarded along with these letters by the petitioner, to the Honourable the Chief Justice.

List on 29-11-1995.”

On 29-11-1995, Mr.V.Selvaraj, Advocate, represented that he was taking notice on behalf of Thiru.C.Umashankar impleaded as Respondent No.7 in the writ petition. Learned Government Pleader stated that he had instructions to file a vakalat on behalf of Respondents 1 t o6. Petitioner, who initiated this Public Interest Litigation was also present in the Court. We directed the 7th respondent, through his counsel, to file an affidavit detailing all the facts within his knowledge and awareness about disposal of Central funds allocated under Jawahar Rozgar Yojana. For further orders, we directed listing of the petition on 4-12-1995.

3. On 4-12-1995, we afforded time for filing counter affidavit by Respondents 1 to 6 on or before 18-12-1995 and directed posting of the writ petition for final disposal on 19-12-1995.

Meanwhile, W.M.Ps Nos. 27998 of 1995 and 27523 of 1995 were filed by Killivalavan and R.S.Bharathy to have them impleaded as parties in the main writ petition. Killivalavan claims to have been in politics and social service for the past 45 years and he has reason to believe that the Societies listed in the annexure to the letter of the Special Commissioner and Secretary to Government, Rural Development Department dated 28-6-1995 were not in existence defacto and were not executing any work. It was also his statement on oath that in the name of the said societies, the works were actually carried out by others and there appeared to be corruption and fraud. R.S.Bharathy has stated in his affidavit that he is the Joint Secretary of Legal Wing of another political party and would aver on oath that there have been unlawful actions of public servants, in respect of municipal poromboke lands in Tiruchirapalli, which were sought to be sold in detriment to public interest. Through W.M.P No. 27524 of 1995, R.S.Bharathi has impleded for issue of direction, interim in nature, to the Chief Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu, to collect and produce all files connected with implementation of various schemes and Rural Development Agency and sale of poromboke lands situated near Marris Theatre, Tiruchirapalli. These three petitions were kept in abeyance, without passing any orders and they were directed to be listed along with the main writ petition, on 12-1-1996.

We requested Mr.V.Selvaraj, who has entered appearance on behalf of Respondent No.7 (Thiru.C.Umashankar) to take us through the salient features of Jawahar Rozgar Yojana and point out as to how the object of the scheme allegedly stood thwarted, on the basis of the entire material placed before us, copies of which stood already supplied to him.

Mr.V.Selvaraj referred to certain paragraph of the affidavit of Thiru.C.Umashankar as well as certain documents appended in the typed sets of papers, to contend that even when there was no proposal in Madurai district to construct cremation sheds utilising JRY funds, Bharathiyar Multipurpose Co-operative Village Industrial Society Limited, Omalur Taluk, Salem district, had presented a letter dated 27-3-1995 addressed to the Additional Collector / Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency, Madurai to the District Collector on 8-4-1995 as though a decision had already been taken for construction of cremation sheds in the district and orders should be given to the said Society for construction of cremation sheds. Even on the same day, the District Collector, Madurai (3rd Respondent in the writ petition) made an endorsement on that letter,

“ AC(D) Pl. discuss. It seems the project is good. The Chengalpattu District has placed orders under JVVT surplus funds. Please check up whether we can also place orders.

We can place orders for 150 Nos.

100 Nos. for P.Us and 50 Nos. for Town Panchayats we can select the AD colonies only.”

On the basis of this Note, Thiru.C.Umashankar (7th Respondent) claims to have met the District Collector, Madurai (3rd respondent) and opposed placing of orders, since he was shocked at the contents of the letter dated 27-3-1995. In his own affidavit, Respondent No.7 has stated that the District Collector (R-3) then told him that “the Minister for Local Administration was insisting for ordering 300 numbers and when others do it, we have to do it”. R7 claims that he was helpless and therefore refused to pace any orders on his own. R3 himself undertook the responsibility and ordered opening of the file for the said purpose. R7 put up a note stating that entrusting JVVT works to outside agencies would cause loss of employment to Madurai district and hence the number of sheds should be restricted to 100 only. On 24-4-1995, the District Collector passed the note order for construction of 100 cremation sheds by Bharathiar Society, to call it in a shorter form. Mr.Selvaraj contended that even before the officials of the Block level could identify the Adi Dravida colonies, pressure was brought in to issue the work order in favour of the Society. Consequently, on 5-5-1995, an order was issued in favour of Bharathiar Society for construction of 70 cremation sheds only. He referred to a letter dated 20-4-1995 addressed by Bharathiyar Society to the Chief Executive Officer, District Rural Development Agency, requesting 50% advance, stating therein that they had received the work order for erection of cremation sheds in Madurai district for Panchayat Unions and Town Panchayats, though in effect the work order was to follow only on 5-5-1995. The Society also mentioned in that letter that it was financially very weak and the members of the Society depended upon this society for day to day life.

7. Six months thereafter, on 16-10-1995, one Bharathi, Managing Director of Om Muruga Cement Article Works, Padiyanallur, Madras 52 met R-7 and handed over a letter emanating from the Special Officer of the said Society. Through this letter, the Society claimed to have completed 70 cremation sheds and requested payment of balance amount fo Rs.10,50,000/-. Even on 26-9-1995, R-7 had inspected one of the cremation sheds constructed by the said Society at Alanganallur along with Additional Block Development Officer, Assistant Divisional Engineer and Union Engineer, Alanganallur. They found on inspection that the work had not been executed in accordance with the specifications. Though the estimated cost of a cremation shed was Rs.30000/- , the total value of the work executed in was less than Rs.15000/-, R-7 put up a note stating that there was no foundation, no brick work, no concrete flooring and that instead of zinc sheet, a low quality asbestos sheet had been used for roofing and recommended that the Director, Rural Development, should be addressed to black list the Society as it tried to defraud the District Rural Development Agency, Madurai and no further payment should also be made. In spite of such a note containing particulars of valuation of work submitted by the Additional Block Development Officer, Alanganallur, the District Collector, Madurai (R-3), on 16-10-1995 itself, the date of receipt of the letter from the Society, passed the following order:

“A: Rs.10.50 lakhs released as the final bill. The estimate was approved by the government. The balance amount of Rs.10.5 lakhs should be released immediately.

B: We can write to DRD for further action. Please release the cheque immediately.”

In the opinion of R-7, the order passed by the third respondent was not in consonance with law and hence he refused to release the cheque. He also received yet another report from the Assistant Executive Engineer, Usilampatti, stating that the construction of burial ground shed at Uthangudi would not cost more than Rs.14,000/-. A further note was put up by R-7 n 18-10-1995 and before that note could reach the third respondent, R-7 was transferred. After transfer orders were issued, R-7 inspected the burial ground shed constructed at Uthangudi village, Madurai East panchayat union. The inspection was to satisfy himself whether he had correctly rejected payment to Bharathiyar Society. R-7 found to his surprise that there was no foundation at all. There was no brick work, no sand filling, white washing, foundation concrete or brick work. The entire burial ground could be dismantled within 45 minutes and installed in some other place without difficulty in another one hour. Nothing was permanently installed in the burial ground shed. The length of the shed was short by 3 feet. The value of work done was only Rs.14,000/- whereas the Society had claimed Rs.30,000 for each shed. R-7 was convinced that he had correctly rejected the claim of the Society. R-7 was also enclosing photographs showing the deficiencies noticed by him and added that there was no way for making payment as claimed by the Society. Rather, the society should be asked to repay Rs.1000 per each shed as they had carried out work worth Rs.14000 only, after having taken an advance of Rs.15000 for each shed. Mr.Selvaraj contended that under the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana there was another scheme named Indira Awaas Yojana. Under this scheme, people below the poverty line should be helped to put up houses of their own, using the money given by the Government. The work should be done locally using locally available raw materials only. The work should not be given to any Government department or any intermediary. Contrary to the purport of the scheme, Government had passed orders for the purchase of steel doors from named co-operative societies. He also stated that for construction of school buildings etc., local labour alone should be employed and locally available materials alone should be used. However, Government had passed orders directing purchase of materials from named Societies. According to R-7, there are societies at village level itself, who can, if necessary, supply materials required. He has claimed that the Government had passed orders for purchase of centring materials from named cooperative societies fro IRDP, JRY and other schemes. It is the grievance of R-7 that contrary to the object of the scheme, which intended direct employment to the beneficiaries, the works were entrusted to the ruling party people. He would state on oath that there is an unwritten rule that 80% of the work should be given to the Branch Secretaries of AIADMK party and the remaining 20 percent should be given to ruling party MLAs. The administration was coerced to follow this unwritten rule. In spite of his efforts by issuing of circulars that work should be entrusted only to beneficiaries, he was not able to succeed. Even the District Collector (R-3) was helpless and was insisting that this unwritten rule should be obeyed. Mr.Selvaraj, learned advocate, brought to our notice two letters dated 20-9-1995 and 27-9-1995 addressed to the Honourable Minister and to the District Collector, Madurai (R-3), by V.Raman, an AIADMK functionary and Thirmathi Pandiammal respectively. The letter dated 20-9-1995 contains a statement that the party men (AIADMK) were prevented from doing any work and they were also strictly warned from doing any such work by R-7. The letter dated 27-9-1995 states that in Sellampatti Panchayat Union certain percentage of work has been entrusted to members of the Legislative Assembly and “Ondriya Seyalalar”. However, the “Thitta Aluvalar” (probably R-7) was recommending that this work should be entrusted to some one else. Mr.Selvaraj emphatically argued that all that stood prevented under the scheme, were given a goby by the Government , with a view to benefit the ruling political party. He further pointed out that it was rather strange that for a work to be done in Madurai, the Society at Salem was given the contract. The concept of utilising of local ingenuity and labour and thus stood thwarted.

Mr.R.Krishnamurthi, learned Advocate General referred to certain passages in the counter affidavits filed by one or other of the respondents and submitted that the schemes were job oriented and must certainly benefit the poor rural people. The work was community based and execution was left to certain societies on the ground of economic viability. The pre fabricated material required could not be obtained locally and the societies to which the work was entrusted also had as their members poor rural people. The societies were also utilising local labour for mixing concrete, digging pits, unloading of RCC material, erection of pillars, earth filling etc. he submitted that the local labour were not deprived of work and therefore the object of the scheme was not frustrated. He contended that the co-operative societies, seven in number, were in existence. To a question by Court that by directing entrustment of work to seven societies by the Government, there was no discretion left in the officers, to be exercised, learned Advocate general had no answer. He submitted that if a part of the scheme was strictly followed, there would be obvious violation of certain other rules framed elsewhere under the scheme. He would submit that by and large, the object of the scheme was kept in view by the Government. He pointed out that the balance claimed by Bharathiyar Society was later stopped and therefore it can be safely taken that further payments were not effected. He also contended that there was no society manufacturing pre fabricated structures at Madurai and therefore there was nothing wrong in the work having been entrusted to a Society at Salem. He was frank enough in stating that the ideal way of following of the scheme would be to entrust the entire work in Madurai area, but that not having been done, cannot be stated to be an exercise of mala fide. He placed before us a letter addressed to Sales Tax authorities by the Society to manufacture pre fabrications at two definite places. He contended that though the authorities concerned were not maintaining muster-rolls, the societies concerned were maintaining the same.

9. In reply, Mr.Selvaraj contended that the amount involved in these schemes was several crores of rupees and it was pima facie evident from the documents brought on record that some societies stood favoured specially, contrary to the object of the scheme, and one society in Ariyalur was most often found closed on several days, when it was inspected. He also contended on the basis of the note file, that Bharathiyar Society, after taking the advance of Rs.10.5 lakhs, carried out no work till 22-6-1995. It was also noticed on 17-8-1995 that the society had not sent any report with records , like work bill, certificate received from ABDOs, estimates and designs approved by the DE, HRW, Madurai. It was therefore that inspection was made on 26-6-1995 by R-7. Mr.Selvaraj contended that the implications are far reaching and on the material available, a thorough investigation may have to be done, for then alone, the public in general, will have confidence about proper utilisation or otherwise of the funds allotted by the Central Government.

10. We did not deem in necessary to allow impleding of Killivalavan or Bharathi. Thiru. Bharathi has referred to a totally different subject, while the grievance can easily be taken care of on the material already brought on record.

11. This is a case where an officer of a fairly high rank working under the scheme, has chosen to level allegations of mis utilisation of funds, solely with the object of benefiting members of the ruling party. An officer in service should have enough courage to question the activities of the Government and if his outburst has some relevance on the foundation of notes contemporaneously made, then, this Court would be justified in not brushing aside the serious allegations made by an officer of Government, as vindictively laid due to his transfer from the said position. It may be that the transfer was effected in the usual course, or it may be that the transfer was an off-shoot, for not following the written or unwritten directions issued b the Government from time to time. We do not want to offer any opinion on this subject, for R-7 has questioned his transfer before the Central Administrative Tribunal and the same is pending disposal.

12. It is not as though we have taken cognisance of this public interest litigation writ petition on the basis of allegations made by an officer of the Government, who claims to be honest, while the other side may dub him disgruntled, but the foundation was receipt of the letters addressed by Gopalan, a social worker of Karur. Since, Thiru.Gopalan, on the basis of news items, had referred to the episode of R-7, Thiru.C.Umashankar, we deemed it necessary to call upon R-7 to furnish on oath all material within his knowledge and awareness about the working of JRY scheme, at lest in relation to the district in which he was working at the relevant time. R-7 was Additional Collector at Madurai, during the relevant time and now he is employed as Additional Director, South Asian Federation Games, Madras. An Officer of that rank should be aware that if he were to swear falsehood, serious consequences were bound to follow.

13. The note file placed for our scrutiny clearly shows that objections raised by R-7 at various stages on the ground that the object of the scheme was sought to be thwarted. However, we have to mention that it is not known as to how he had succumbed to entrust the work to Bharathiyar Society at least to a limited extent. We were also in anguish when two letters dated 20-9-1995 and 27-9-1995, in original were produced before us by Mr.V.Selvaraj. Both these originals must have been retained in the file of the District Collector, Madurai (R-3) and should not have been brought out of it by R-7. But, these infirmities do not affect the basic core of the issue involved before us.

14. It will be relevant to refer to certain portions of the JRY manual. Broad outlines and objectives of this scheme stand stated under chapter I. Alleviation of rural poverty, in terms of introduction, has been the major objective of the 7th Five Year Plan, which aimed at bringing down the percentage of people below the poverty line less than 10 by 1994-95. Since prevalence of unemployment and underemployment in the rural areas was a contributing factor for high incidence of poverty, the main thrust in achieving the objective of poverty alleviation was directed towards creation of supplementary employment opportunities for the rural poor during the lean agricultural season through various works programmes. The focus aimed at giving self employment and wage employment to the poorer sections of the community. In this context of new economic policy, it was felt necessary to continue JRY as the largest single employment programme during the 8th Five year Plan period in the country. On the basis of experience gained in implementing the wage employment programmes, the strategy for implementation was modified to ensure better implementation of Yojana during the 8th plan, especially to achieve the target of providing substantial gains of employment per person in backward districts, where there was concentration of unemployed and under employed persons. The primary objective was generation of additional gainful employment for the unemployed an under employed person, both men and women, in rural areas and secondarily creation of community and social assets. The target group were those people below the poverty line and preference shall have to be given to Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribes and freed bonded labourers for employment under the Yojana. 30 percent of the employment opportunities under the Yojana will have to be reserved for women. On criteria and procedure or allocation/release of resources, we have guidelines under Chapter III. The Central assistance will be allocated to the States / U.Ts on the basis of rural poor in a State/UT to other total rural poor in the country. From the States to the districts, the allocation of funds will be made on the index of backwardness formulated on the basis of equal weightage to the proportion of rural SC/ST population in a district to total SC/ST population in the State and the inverse of per capita production of the agricultural workers in that district. Not less than 80 percent of the funds allotted to each district, after providing for earmarked sectors will have to be distributed to village panchayats (lowest level elected body) and the balance of 20 per cent funds should be utilised at district level. The criteria prohibit diversion of resources from one district to another holding it to be impermissible. Similarly, diversion of resources from one village panchayat to another village panchayat will also not be permissible. Works under the Yojana form part of Chapter IV. An illustrative list of works that can be taken up under the Yojana forms part of Annexure III. In the illustrative list under serial No. (xii), mention has been made of construction of community work sheds for target group beneficiaries, community centres, panchayat ghars, SWCRA centres, market yards in areas with concentration of population of weaker sections and Serial No. (xiii) refers to works to purely social and community nature such as dispensaries, panchayat ghars, community centres, cretches, anganwadis, balwadis etc. While utilising funds for providing infrastructure support, the ratio between wage and material component of 60:40 must be observed. It was on this direction, it was contended by learned Advocate-General that in respect of certain works listed under Annexture III, the material component may be more and the wage quotient necessarily may have to be less. In that context, he submitted that it cannot be construed that the object of the scheme had not been correctly fulfilled. While executing a scheme, experience will disclose the manner in which the funds may have to be necessarily utilised. As long as the funds do not get diverted, from those poor to whom they were intended and there cannot be any mala fide attached to a particular work, then certainly no blame can be fastened. We must keep in our view that the works will have to be undertaken for the benefit of identified individuals below the poverty line. Chapter X refers to planning and execution of works. It is stated herein that no work can be taken under RJY unless it forms part of the annual action plan. The works to be taken up under the programme by the village panchayat should preferably be selected out of the list given in Annexure III based on felt needs of the people and the priorities indicated through the village assembly meetings. The standards and specifications of works at the DRDA/Zilla Parishad level shall be the same as approved by the State Government for similar types of works. In order to facilitate the technical scrutiny of the Plan of action of the village panchayat, the authorities at district level, should prepare and approve standard designs and cost estimates of those items of work, which are generally taken up by the village panchayats. At the village level the programme will be implemented through the village panchayats, who will be responsible for planning and execution of the Yojana. Contractors are not permitted to be engaged for execution of any of the works under the programme. No middleman or any such intermediate agency should be employed for executing works under the programme so that the full benefits of wages to be paid reach the workers and the cost of works does not go up on account of commission charges payable to such contractors, middlemen or intermediate agency. Monitoring and evaluation of the work done, get classified under Chapter XI. For effective implementation, physical monitoring through full inspection, is stated to be important. The muster-roll for all works should have entry showing Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribes / Landless / Freed bonded labour / Women workers. The concerned officials must sign the muster-roll and also record on the muster rolls a the time of weekly payments a certificate indicating the employment generation for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, and for others as also the total employment generation.

15. Keeping in view these avowed objectives, let us now audit the materials available for our scrutiny to find out if there is any justification for action under the had “Public Interest”.

16. Even at the outset, we must state that on perusal of entire material, an unsavoury impression stands created that the schemes have probably been utilised for scheming to benefit a group of people. We have already extracted the object of the scheme and our detailing of the expected mode of its working would show that neither contractors nor middlemen or intermediary agencies should be employed for executing works under the programme. The object is that the full benefits of wages to be paid should reach the workers and the cost of works should not go up on account of commission charges payable to those category of people. If the work of construction of cremation sheds was intended to be undertaken in Madurai district, it does not stand to reason that orders for construction of 70 sheds should have been passed in favour of an agency situated in Salem and which no roots at Madurai. We have referred earlier to the scheme, which does not permit diversion of resources either from one district to another even from one village panchayat to another village panchayat. These are basic concepts on which the authorities concerned cannot feign ignorance. Before entrusting the work of construction of cremation sheds to Bharathiyar Society, feasibility of such allotment should have been considered. It is not as though the authorities were in the dark about this procedure. It does amaze us that Bharathiyar society had chosen to address a letter dated 27-3-1995 to the Additional Collector / Project Officer (Development), District Rural Development Agency, Madurai, on the subject “Work Order – Requisition – Erection of Cremation Sheds”. The contents of the said letter read that the Society had come to know that the Panchayat unions and town panchayats under the control of the addressee needed cremation sheds. According to the society its members are very well trained in the construction of cremation sheds and they can complete the work as soon as possible, so a request was made to hand over the above work to the said Society, since it was financially weak. It is not disputed by the respondents that on 27-3-1995, there was no proposal imminent for construction of cremation sheds in Madurai area. The note of R-3, the District Collector, Madurai, made on the said letter was naturally the outcome of some discussion with the representative of the society. The note of R-3 reads as hereunder:

“Please discuss. It seems the project

is good. Chengalpattu district has

placed orders under JVVT surplus funds.

Please check up whether we can also

place orders.”

The note does not stop here, but expresses the opinion of the District Collector (R-3) that an order can be placed for 150 numbers, 100 numbers for P.Us and 50 numbers for town panchayats and that they can select AD colonies only. This note was made on 8-4-1995, when there was no decision taken for construction of cremation sheds. On this basis alone, we cannot possibly arrive at a conclusion, that all was not well in the manner in which order for construction of cremation sheds was made in favour of Bharathiyar society.

17. The affidavit of Thiru.C.Umahsankar (R-7) has material significance at this juncture. It will be better to extract certain portions of his affidavit:

“I submit that on 8-4-1995, a person claiming to represent Bharathiyar Multi purpose Co-operative Village Industrial Society Limited, Omalur Taluk, Salem district met the District Collector and presented a letter of the Special Officer of the said Society dated 27-3-1995, addressed to the Additional Collector and Project Officer, DRDA, Madurai. On the date of receipt of the letter there was no proposal in Madurai district to construct any cremation shed, utilising the JRY funds. The letter reads as though a decision had already been taken for construction of Cremation Sheds in the district and orders should be given to the said Society for construction of the Cremation sheds. Strangely, the District Collector made an endorsement in the letter received by him and sent the letter to me through the agent of the said Society himself. The endorsement made by the District Collector dated 8-4-1995 is as follows:

“ AC(D) Pl. discuss. It seems the project is good. The Chengalpattu District has placed orders under JVVT surplus funds. Pl check up whether we can also place orders. We can place order for 150 Nos. 100 Nos for P.Us and 50 Nos. for Town panchayats.

We can select the AD colonies only.”

I submit that I was shocked to read the contents of the letter dated 27-3-1995 received from the Special Officer of the Co-operative Society and the endorsement made by the District Collector I met the District Collector and opposed the same. The District Collector then told me as follows: “The Minister for Local Administration was insisting for ordering 300 Nos. When others do it, we have to do it.” I was helpless. I refused to place any order on my own. The Collector himself undertook to take the responsibility and ordered the opening of a file for the purpose. I put up a note stating that entrusting JVVT works to outside agencies would cause loss of employment to Madurai district and hence the number of sheds should be restricted to 100 only. On 24-4-1995, the District Collector passed the note order for construction of 100 cremation sheds by the said Society. Thereafter only the Block officials were addressed to identify 5 Adi Dravida colonies in each block for construction of cremation sheds. Before the officials at the Block level could identify the Adi Dravida colonies, pressure was brought in to issue the work order in favour of the Society. Consequently, on 5-5-1995, an order was issued in favour of the Society for construction of 70 cremation sheds only.”

It is the definite case of R-7 that the District Collector (R-3) told him that the Minister fro Local Administration was insisting for ordering 300 numbers and that when others do it, they also have to do it. In that context , R-7 claims to have put up a note stating that entrusting JVVT works to outside agencies would cause loss of employment to Madruai district and hence the number of sheds should be restricted to 100 only. The said note dated 20-4-1995 reads as hereunder:

“I have discussed with the Collector. We may order for construction of 100 cremation sheds for Adi dravidas.

The representative of the Society met me today evening. He had agreed to erect tin sheets in place of AC sheets. Both of them cost the same money, he says. He had also agreed to take 50% advance. It is also submitted that giving JVVT works for outside agencies may cause loss of employment to Madurai district people. Hence we may restrict the orders to 100 cremation sheds as discussed with the Collector.”

This was approved by the District Collector (R-3) on 24-4-1995. Hence the claim of R-7 about his earlier discussion with R-3 cannot be brushed aside as irrelevant in view of the contemporaneous record made in the note file. Of course, R-3 has sworn to a counter affidavit, in which he has adopted the contents of the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the State Government. He has specifically denied about the allegations made in Paragraph 9 of the affidavit of R-7, that he had met him and opposed the claim made by the Society. He has further denied that he had told R-7 that the Minister for Local administration was insisting for ordering 300 numbers etc., as stated in the affidavit of R-7. He would further add that the Honourable Minister had never discussed the said subject. He has also chosen to deny about the existence of unwritten rule that 80% of the work should be done by party people and 20% should be entrusted to M.L.As. Of course, we are able to prima facie notice that the two officers have stated certain materials on oath, one of them denying the averments made by the other and vice versa. In normal course, we would have allowed, if there were certain administrative deficiencies, which did not affect the public interest. The subsequent events, which also form part of the note file, placed for our scrutiny, does shock our conscience, for , in spite of R-3 being aware that Bharathiyar Society had not executed the work entrusted to it and if at all the work done would cost only Rs.15000/- or less and that balance of payment should not be made and the Society should be black listed he had ordered forthwith release of Rs.10.5 lakhs. He had also noted that they can write to DRD for further action. There is one more endorsement by R-3, which reads “Please release the cheque”. The note of R-7 shows that he inspected the burial ground shed at Alanganallur on 26-9-1995 and found several deviations, which have been listed by him. He had very clearly noted, for the scrutiny of the Collector (R-3) that the ABDO, Alanganallur after getting the estimate from the UE and ADE, had submitted that the value of work done on each burial ground shed was less than Rs.15000/-. Therefore he recommended that the Society may be informed that for the value of work done by them they were eligible for Rs.10.5 lakhs only and not Rs.30 lakhs. Even for submitting U.Cs, they have to submit the M Book entries. The next recommendation was to write to the DRD to black list the Society as it had tried to defraud DRDA, Madurai. When such a serious complaint stood made against the Society by high ranking officer as R-7, R3 should not have just ordered on the same day for release of Rs.10.5 lakhs without applying his mind. This prima facie, creates a reasonable impression that probably R-3 was being remotely controlled by some agency. The argument of Learned Advocate General that subsequently, payment was stopped, after transfer of R-7 from the post he was then occupying, cannot help, for it is fairly evident that R-7 had gone to the Central Administrative Tribunal, making certain allegation about the manner in which the funds were being misutilised and since he was not in a position to fall in line with the extraneous instruction, he was vindictively transferred from the post he was occupying. On the note made by R-7 we would have expected the Collector to stop payment and have a verification done before any further orders could be passed. That the report made by R-7 must prima facie be correct is further confirmed by his inspection at uthangudi village, after he was ordered to be transferred. He was accompanied by the concerned Engineers and it was noticed by him that there was neither foundation, nor brick work or sand filling etc., as he had stated even earlier. The entire burial ground, according to him can be dismantled within 45 minutes and installed elsewhere without difficulty. The value of work done was only to the extent of Rs.14000/- The reports of R-7 are based on statistical details furnished by Engineers concerned. This is not a matter, which could have been so slightly ignored by R-3.

18. That there should have been some sort of pressure when R-3 had acted, is further clear from the following details. Though the work order in favour of the Society was issued only on 5-5-1995, we find a letter addressed by Bharathiyar Society on 20-4-1995 to the Chief Executive Officer, District Rural Development Agency, Madurai requesting 50% advance amount. This letter reads that the Society had received the work order for the erection of cremation sheds in the said district for panchayat unions and town panchayats and since the society was financially weak and its members depend upon this society for their day to day life, 50% advance amount can be granted. As we have mentioned elsewhere, the work order was issued only on 5-5-1995. That some invisible hand had been operating at every stage is fairly apparent. It does not stop here, for on 17-8-1995, R-3 had forwarded a communication to the Special Officer of Bharathiyar Society in reply to their letter dated 20-4-1995 and the work order dated 5-5-1995. After referring to the conditions of the work order R-3 had stated that though a sum of Rs.10.5 lakhs stood sanctioned as advance for the above works the society was also asked to send weekly progress reports, they had not yet sent any report thus for. R-3 had requested the Society to send the report with individual work bills for payment of the balance amount, copies of estimates and designs approved by DE, (H&RW), Madurai and certificates of Additional Block Development Officers concerned that the cremation sheds were constructed in the places located by them with tin sheet roof in the place of AC sheet roof. R-3 had then stated that those records along with the reports were necessary for adjustment of 50% advance already paid to the Society and for making payment of the balance amount. It is not known as to why the Collector (R-3) should voluntarily be anxious to ask for records to pay the balance amount even before the Society had chosen to send its report on completion of work and demand payment of the balance amount. It is in this context that two letters received by the Collector’s office from V.Raman, a party functionary and Thirumathi. Era Pandiammal, MLA., addressed to the Honourable Minister through the District Collector and to the Collector himself, assumes significance. The complaint is against R-7 for not permitting party functionaries to do works and one of the letters indicates that in Sellampatti Panchayat union certain percentage of work usually stood allotted to the Members of Legislative Assembly and the party secretary of the Panchayat union. Hence the claim of R-7 which has been brought out by the petitioner in this public interest litigation that an unwritten rule existed for allotment of work cannot at all be ignored. It is the case of R-7 that these two letters were forwarded to him by R-3 with a request of course oral, requiring him to follow the unwritten code. We are able to comprehend the anxiety of R-3 to call upon the society to submit certain documents for making payment of the balance due, even before reports of execution stood received and his spontaneous order passed on 16-10-1995 to release Rs.10.5 lakhs in spite of the Note of R-7. Probably, R-7 may be right when he stated in his affidavit that the District collector (R-3) himself was helpless. The note file also discloses that on 14-8-1995 a note was put up about the society not having sent any report with records for having carried out the work allotted to it and it was probably the reason that a letter was addressed to the Society by the Collector.

19. After the order for release of further payment was made by the Collector on 16-10-1995, R-7 has made a note on 18-10-95, which is rather revealing. He has given his reason for rejecting payment of Rs.10.5 lakhs to Bharathiyar Society. He has further added that the District Panchayat cannot afford to lose Rs.10.5 lakhs unnecessarily. He has also mentioned in the note that on 13-9-1995 the Secretary for Rural Development (former) Thiru.Acharyalu called him to talk to him when he (R-7) was camping at Theni. Due to faulty phone links, he could not talk with him from Theni, though he got connection to his residence. The next day, he spoke to him from his chamber at 5.30 p.m. The note file further reads that he (Secretary) wanted him to place further orders for construction of burial ground sheds and he replied that JRY works cannot be executed by outside agency as it vitiated JRY manual norms. He also requested the Secretary to provide grants from the State Government , if he wanted him to construct burial ground sheds through Bharathiyar Society. The secretary replied that the State Government does not have the money. Then the Secretary enquired about the money due to Bharathiyar Society. He informed the Secretary that the U.Es are verifying the work done by Bharathiyar Society and it would take at least ten days to finish the work. The reply of the Secretary quoted in the note file reads as follows:

“ I am your Secretary telling. You must

complete the verification within

five days and make payment. The

Minister for LA is insisting me.”

The note further reads that under the above circumstances in which the Secretary RD. and the Minister for LA have shown extra ordinary interest in getting the payment of money and getting additional orders for the Society, he (R-7) was of the opinion that if they make the final payment when only half the value of work had been done, both of them (R-3 an R-7) will land in serious trouble in future. In the end R-7 has stated that the Society had not performed the work according to the estimate and the Collector may reconsider his direction for making payment. More and more we read the contents of the note file, the greater is the shock experienced by us. These contemporaneous records could not have been made on total emptiness, unless there was some basis for the same. There cannot be smoke without fire.

20. Let us now audit as to how the respondents have chosen to meet the case of the petitioner in this public interest litigation, corroborated by the affidavit of R-7, which we called upon him to file on the facts within his awareness and knowledge. We have already mentioned about the counter affidavit filed by R-3, the District Collector, Madurai, and hence nothing further need to be stated on his affidavit. One counter affidavit dated 18th December 1995 and another additional counter-affidavit dated 31-1-1996 were filed by Mohamed Abdul Kareem, Deputy Secretary to Government, Rural Development Department. After extracting the programme contemplated under Jawahar Rozgar Yojana, he has stated that provision of facilities for cremation is a basic requirement of social and community nature benefiting the rural population. The sheds provided for cremation were very few and that too in certain villages and were very negligible in the case of burning ground for Adi dravidas. Therefore, the Government thought it fit to provide cremation sheds in villages for Adi Dravidas. During the past, such sheds were being put up, on the orders of Collector of respective districts. Taking into account the scope and purpose of JRY and its objectives., the Government had taken a decision to have five sheds in each panchayat union for burning dead bodies in relation to Adi Dravidas colonies all over the State. Then the affidavit reads that the Tamil Nadu Government Khadi and Village Industries Board, apart from having various units is also controlling a number of industrial societies formed by industrial workers engaged in various trades. Such societies comprised of rural artisans and workers in different trades pursuing different avocations. The Tamil Nadu Khadi and Village Industries Board and its units are those which are eligible for institutional priority in relation to purchase or execution of projects. According to the deponent, such societies, which are units of Khadi and Village Industries Board, were registered and controlled by it and were working in a manner which directly benefited its members, who hailed from poorer sections of the community. The government had decided to have sheds put up by seven such societies situated in various districts. Members of those societies were poor industrial workers and artisans having common skills, who have formed themselves into a society for their common good. The entrustment of the implementation of the above work was in effect to assure employment for disadvantageous group of people, who constitute members of such societies, which is one of the principle objectives of JRY scheme. In the counter affidavit, it stands stated that these societies are small rural units working without adequate capital base and therefore Government issued orders to enable advances to be made to such societies for the purpose of purchase of stores, servicing, repairing etc., taking into account the need for timely completion of work. The Deputy Secretary to Government has added that the Collector of every district is the Chairman of District Rural Development Agency and the Collectors select villages for construction of cremation sheds and after such selection, they entrust the work of construction of cremation sheds to Societies which are either situated in the respective districts or those situated closer to the said district. He has stated that no final payment was made to the Society and the matter was being examined by the Collector of Madurai district. He has further mentioned that it would therefore be seen that the allegation made by the petitioner about the cost or estimate of the sheds and the alleged looting of money, proceeds on a misconception of the statement recorded by Thiru.C.Umashankar (R-7) and therefore liable to be rejected in limine. The counter affidavit filed on behalf of the State Government also shows that R-7 had recommended the construction of sheds for 1994-95 as well as for 1995-96. The counter-affidavit throws the onus on the Project Officer to inspect the construction of cremation sheds by the Society and put up a note if the construction as not as per the norms prescribed. A blame is made on R-7 that he could have stopped the construction of cremation sheds, after his inspection on 26-9-1995 on the ground that it was sub-standard. The counter affidavit clearly overlooks the haste with which R-3 had passed orders directing release of Rs.10.5 lakhs to the Society, though, fortunately as good luck would have it, it was not paid. We are not concerned with the allegation sand counter allegations by the Deputy Secretary to the Government and the Additional Collector of Madurai. We are dealing with brass facts in relation to utilisation of funds in respect of a scheme intended to benefit the poorest of the poor people. In the additional counter-affidavit, the deponent would have it that the entrustment of the work of construction of cremation sheds was in effect to assure employment to disadvantageous groups of people, who constitute the members of such societies and those associated with them which is one of the principle objectives of the JRY scheme. He would therefore add that there was no irregularity in allocation of work to the Societies. He has referred to certain paragraphs of the scheme, to which we have already made a reference earlier.

21. We have said enough and more on the factual details available readily for our scrutiny. We are unable to agree with the learned Advocate General that the work of construction of cremation sheds cannot be carried out in Madurai district and it is only the chosen seven societies that will be able to pre-fabricate on economically viable basis and erect tem at the relevant spots. We are unable to understand the economic viability at least at this stage, for, if Rs.30000/- was the estimate for construction of cremation sheds, records starkly indicate that just above half of the estimated sum was spent and what could happen to the balance, is so obvious, that one need not have trouble oneself on that score. As the note of R-7 indicates and which note was made at a time when litigation of this nature could not even have been dreamt of the fact that these sheds without any foundation, though a foundation was expected to be made, could be manually lifted after unearthing it within about 45 minutes and erected elsewhere, cannot be lost sight of. It is open to doubt, if one or other of the societies, spreading their net of operations in various districts, after obtaining payment in one area, would be prepared to shift one or more these sheds to some other locality to obtain fresh payments without incurring any expense. These are very serious matters, which require thorough probe. If all that stood done was correctly done, then the investigation, which we intend ordering now, would indicate that all was well in the scheme operation. On the contrary, if the prima facie material indicated by us, does lead probably to further depths of a possible scandal or a scam, that will definitely have to be unearthed. If foundations were not dug, there was little scope for earth work and the claim that local labour was also utilised, which of course if at all must be very meagre, ay after all be an eye wash without much of seriousness attached to it. We at least have record to show that work entrusted in Tiruchirapalli district to Ariyalur Society for construction of cremation sheds was not carried out and that in spite of the visits of the District Development officer, the premises of this society was almost always closed and no work was carried out (Please refer to the letter of A.Paramanandam, District Development Officer, dated 12-7-1995 addressed to the District Collector, Tiruchirapalli). We are unable to see, that in the annexure to the letter dated 28-6-1995, addressed to Special Commissioner and Secretary to Government, to the Director of Rural Development, Madras, this Bharathiyar Society has not been mentioned at all, though the name of the said society does find a place in a similar letter addressed by the Director of Rural Development to all Project Officers , District Rural Development Agencies, dated 12-10-1995. Hence, the argument that the existence of the Society on a permanent basis is open to doubt, cannot be slightly rejected. Of course, some audited statement of accounts of these societies were also placed for our scrutiny by the learned Advocate General, apart from belated submission after orders stood reserved, of certain copies of vouchers for payment made to local labourers by Bharathiyar society. These are matters which will have to be carefully scrutinised during the course of investigation, which we intend directing now.

22. We are prima facie of the opinion, that in the guise of helping the rural poor, certain societies selected by the Government, were virtually favoured with contracts, be it under pressure or under unwritten code, totally overlooking the poor in the district concerned, who are expected to be benefited from this scheme. It is no answer to state that the members of these societies are also poor artisans, for local artisans should have to be utilised under the scheme in their own districts. It is further evident that the State Government had passed orders for purchase of steel doors and centring materials, from named co-operative societies, which , in effect deny utilisation of local labour and available local material. If the Government chosen societies stand underlined, what is the discretion left to the local authorities to follow the salient principles of the Scheme? Does it not appear that they have to sign on dotted lines? An indelible impression stands struck in our minds, that all is not well in the functioning of the schemes and moneys intended for the poorest of the poor, probably are diverted to those select few who, of course, do not deserve it.

23. Since he material stated by us above prima facie shows, probable involvement of hierarchy of high-ranking officers and probably higher ups as well, we are of the opinion that investigation about the working of JRY scheme in Madurai district should be conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation. In the interest of justice, it may require that a high ranking officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation, in the rank of Superintendent of Police at least, should be entrusted with this investigation. Since directions for investigations are issued by this Court, the consent envisaged under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, will not stand attracted, as has been observed by the Supreme Court in State of West Bengal v Sampat Lal (AIR 1985 S.C.195). During the course of investigation, it will certainly be open to the investigating agency to spread its nets to the working of the scheme in other districts as well. We direct the Central Bureau of Investigation to register a complaint on the basis of the letters of Gopalan, petitioner herein, as well as on the averments made bu R-7 in his affidavit, investigate the matter thoroughly and forward a final report as expeditiously as possible.

24. This Writ Petition is disposed in terms of our directions detailed above. No costs.

25. W.M.Ps No.27523, 27524 and 27998 of 1995 are dismissed.

True Copy

5-3-1996.

Signed by Sub Assistant Registrar,

(Statistics)

High Court, Madras 600 114.

Download the Judgement copy in pdf

 

View the Excerpts from the Judgement

 

Excerpts from the Judgement of Madras High court in the “Cremation Sheds Scam” dated 27th February 1996

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> <!–[endif]–>

Para 7: “It is the grievance of  R-7 (C.Umashankar IAS.,) that contrary to the object of the scheme, which intended direct employment to the beneficiaries, the works were entrusted to the ruling party people. He would state on oath that there is an unwritten rule that 80% of the work should be given to the Branch Secretaries of AIADMK party and the remaining 20 percent should be given to ruling party MLAs. The administration was coerced to follow this unwritten rule. In spite of his efforts by issuing of circulars that work should be entrusted only to beneficiaries, he was not able to succeed. Even the District Collector (R-3) was helpless and was insisting that this unwritten rule should be obeyed”.

Para 11: “This is a case where an officer of a fairly high rank working under the scheme, has chosen to level allegations of mis utilisation of funds, solely with the object of benefiting members of the ruling party. An officer in service should have enough courage to question the activities of the Government and if his outburst has some relevance on the foundation of notes contemporaneously made,  then, this Court would be justified in not brushing aside the serious allegations made by an officer of Government, as vindictively laid due to his transfer from the said position”.

Para 16: “Even at the outset, we must state that on perusal of entire material,  an unsavoury impression stands created that the schemes have probably been utilised for scheming to benefit a group of people”.

Para 17: “The subsequent events, which also form part of the note file, placed for our scrutiny, does shock our conscience, for , in spite of R-3 being aware that Bharathiyar Society had not executed the work entrusted to it and if at all the work done would cost only Rs.15000/- or less and that balance of payment should not be made and the Society should be black listed he had ordered forthwith release of Rs.10.5 lakhs. He had also noted that they can write to DRD for further action. There is one more endorsement by R-3, which reads “Please release the cheque”. The note of R-7 (C.Umashankar IAS.,) shows that he inspected the burial ground shed at Alanganallur on 26-9-1995 and found several deviations, which have been listed by him. He had very clearly noted, for the scrutiny of the Collector (R-3) that the ABDO, Alanganallur after getting the estimate from the UE and ADE, had submitted that the value of work done on each burial ground shed was less than Rs.15000/-. Therefore he recommended that the Society may be informed that for the value of work done by them they were eligible for Rs.10.5 lakhs only and not Rs.30 lakhs. Even for submitting U.Cs, they have to submit the M Book entries. The next recommendation was to write to the DRD to black list the Society as it had tried to defraud DRDA, Madurai. When such a serious complaint stood made against the Society  by high ranking officer as R-7, R3 should not have just ordered on the same day for release of Rs.10.5 lakhs without applying his mind. This prima facie, creates a reasonable impression that probably R-3 was being remotely controlled by some agency. The argument of Learned Advocate General that subsequently, payment was stopped, after transfer of R-7 from the post he was then occupying, cannot help, for it is fairly evident that R-7 had gone to the Central Administrative Tribunal, making certain allegation about the manner in which the funds were being misutilised and since he was not in  a position to fall in line with the extraneous instruction, he was vindictively transferred from the post he was occupying. On the note made by R-7 we would have expected the Collector to stop payment and have a verification done before any further orders could be passed. That the report made by R-7 must prima facie be correct is further confirmed by his inspection at uthangudi village, after he was ordered to be transferred. He was accompanied by the concerned Engineers and it was noticed by him that there was neither foundation, nor brick work or sand filling etc.,   as he had stated even earlier. The entire burial ground, according to him can be dismantled within 45 minutes and installed elsewhere without difficulty. The value of work done was only to the extent of Rs.14000/- The reports of R-7 are based on statistical details furnished by Engineers concerned. This is not a matter, which could have been so slightly ignored by R-3”.

Para 18: “The complaint is against R-7 (C.Umashankar IAS.,) for not permitting party functionaries to do works and one of the letters indicates that in Sellampatti Panchayat union certain percentage of work usually stood allotted to the Members of Legislative Assembly and the party secretary of the Panchayat union. Hence the claim of R-7 which has been brought out by the petitioner in this public interest litigation that an unwritten rule existed for allotment of work cannot at all be ignored”.

Para 19: “After the order for release of further payment was made by the Collector on 16-10-1995, R-7 (C.Umashankar IAS.,) has made a note on 18-10-95, which is rather revealing. He has given his reason for rejecting payment of Rs.10.5 lakhs to Bharathiyar Society. He has further added that the District Panchayat cannot afford to lose Rs.10.5 lakhs unnecessarily”.

Para 19: “The note further reads that under the above circumstances in which the Secretary RD. and the Minister for LA have shown extra ordinary interest in getting the payment of money and getting additional orders for the Society, he (R-7) was of the opinion that if they make the final payment when only half the value of work had been done, both of them (R-3 an R-7) will land in serious trouble in future. In the end R-7 has stated that the Society had not performed the work according to the estimate and the Collector may reconsider his direction for making payment. More and more we read the contents of the note file, the greater is the shock experienced by us. These contemporaneous records could not have been made on total emptiness, unless there was some basis for the same. There cannot be smoke without fire”.

“Para 22: We are prima facie of the opinion, that in the guise of helping the rural poor, certain societies selected by the Government, were virtually favoured with contracts, be it under pressure or under unwritten code, totally overlooking the poor in the district concerned, who are expected to be benefited from this scheme. It is no answer to state that the members of these societies are also poor artisans, for local artisans should have to be utilised under the scheme in their own districts. It is further evident that the State Government had passed orders for purchase of steel doors and centring materials, from named co-operative societies, which , in effect deny utilisation of local labour and available local material. If the Government chosen societies stand underlined, what is the discretion left to the local authorities to follow the salient principles of the Scheme? Does it not appear that they have to sign on dotted lines? An indelible impression stands struck in our minds, that all is not well in the functioning of the schemes and moneys intended for the poorest of the poor, probably are diverted to those select few who, of course, do not deserve it”.

Para 23: “Since he material stated by us above prima facie shows, probable involvement of hierarchy of high-ranking officers and probably higher ups as well, we are of the opinion that investigation about the working of JRY scheme in Madurai district should be conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation”.

 

Download the excerpts from the Judgement in pdf

_______________________________________

http://sugame.com/umashankar (Details about Cremation Sheds Scam is here)

4 Responses to “A whistle Blower’s tale: The judgement makes an point that a note file is crucial to find out corruption in a transaction. Without notefile a file has no life. The right to information Act would be toothless without the notefile coming under the RTI’s purview.”

  1. Involve Overseas Indians and Indian Associations for Maximun
    Voice and support in the name of “Democratic Cause”

    There are Millions Indians in US, UK. Australia and Gulf countries
    who will not like Dilution of democratic Rights in India.

    “NRI” Coalition For Social Justice
    nricoalition@yahoo.com

    PRESIDENT :
    Ranjit Singh. Ph: 718-359-3660 Fax: 718-463-3507 betterindia@aol.com
    VICE PRESIDENT(administration):
    George Abraham Ph: 917-544-4137 Inocny@hotmail.com
    Vice President ( REACH-OUT)
    Sheikh Tayeb Poonawala. Ph: 347-248-1296 Tpoonawal@aol.com
    Vice President: (Fianance):
    Saeed Patel Saeed325@aol.com
    Vice President: ( MEDIA & PUBLICITY)
    Ajay Batra Ph: 646-436-5626 Ajaybatra@ivstv.com
    Vice President (LEGAL Affairs) :
    Attorney-at-Law Anand Ahuja: Ph: 718-850-1952 Attorneyanand@aol.com
    Vice President (Public Relations)
    Krishan K. Arora Karora1348@yahoo.com

    Betterindia@aol.com

  2. http://moia.gov.in/showinfo1.asp?linkid=190

    Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania

    Algeria American Samoa Andorra

    Angola Anguilla Antarctica

    Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia

    Aruba Ashmore and Cartier Islands Australia

    Austria Azerbaijan Bahrain

    Baker Island Bangladesh Barbados

    Bassas da India Belarus Belgium

    Belize Benin Bermuda

    Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil

    British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei

    Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso

    Burma Burundi Cambodia

    Cameroon Canada Cape Verde

    Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad

    Chile China Christmas Island

    Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia

    Comoros Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands

    Costa Rica Cote d Ivoire Croatia

    Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic

    Democratic Republic of the Congo Denmark Dhekelia

    Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic

    East Timor Ecuador Egypt

    El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea

    Estonia Ethiopia Europa Island

    European Union Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) Faroe Islands

    Fiji Finland France

    French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern and Antarctic Lands

    Gabon Gaza Strip Georgia

    Germany Ghana Gibraltar

    Glorioso Islands Greece Greenland

    Grenada Guam Guatemala

    Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau

    Guyana Hait Heard Island and McDonald Islands

    Holy See Honduras Hongkong

    Howland Island Hungary Iceland

    India Indonesia Iran

    Iraq Ireland Isle of Man

    Israel Italy Jamaica

    Jan Mayen Japan Jarvis Island

    Jersey Johnston Atoll Jordan

    Juan de Nova Island Kazakhstan Kenya

    Kingman Reef Kiribati Korea North

    Korea South Kuwait Kyrgyzstan

    Laos Latvia Lebanon

    Lesotho Liberia Libya

    Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg

    Macau Macedonia Madagascar

    Malawi Malaysia Malaysia

    Maldives Mali Malta

    Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania

    Mauritius Mayotte Mexico

    Micronesia Midway Islands Moldova

    Monaco Mongolia Montserrat

    Morocco Mozambique Myanmar

    Namibia Nauru Navassa Island

    Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles

    New Caledonia Newzealand Nicaragua

    Niger Nigeria Niue

    Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway

    Oman Pakistan Palau

    Palmyra Atoll Panama Papua New Guinea

    Paracel Islands Paraguay Peru

    Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland

    Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar

    Republic of the Congo Reunion Romania

    Russia Rwanda Saint Helena

    Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon

    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino

    Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal

    Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone

    Singapore Slovakia Slovenia

    Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa

    South Georgia Spain Spratly Islands

    Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname

    Svalbard Swaziland Sweden

    Switzerland Syria Taiwan

    Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand

    The Bahamas The Gambia Togo

    Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago

    Tromelin Island Tunisia Turkey

    Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu

    UAE Uganda Uganda

    UK Ukraine Ukraine

    United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States of America

    Uruguay USA Uzbekistan

    Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam

    Virgin Island Wake Island Wallis and Futuna

    West Bank Western Sahara Yemen

    Zambia Zimbabwe

  3. Dear Sir
    My name is Linda Achor and I wrote the book Death Of The Justice System by Authorhouse books 1663 Liberty Drive Suite #200 Bloomington Indiana 47403 This book is 740 pages and has documented court evidence proving how the courts are involved in corruption not just State court But all courts they are purposely and out of malice wrongfully convicting citizens of crimes that they know they did not commit and in civil court cases as in discrimination cases. What they are doing is refusing to sell citizens copies of their audio tapes as required by Federal Law the Law of the land that they are suppose to sell them of their trials status hearings for the price of $20.00 per day charge, the reason that they are doing this is because they are altering the testimony of citizens on their transcripts in order to allow them convictions and to win any appeal.
    Every court has back-up tapes and a counter that’s set up to purchase those tapes and anyone in the public has a common law right to either purchase copies of those tapes or go into a booth that they have set up in order for the pulic to listen to them on a headset for free. However they will allow nobody to purchase them or to listen to them as required by law The head court reporter supervisor will tell you that you are not entitled to these tapes as they are court reporters property which is a lie. The reason that they are doing this is because they alter the testimony in the typed transcript of the case and if one were able to purchase and listen to the testimony on the tapes then they would be able to prove this is a fact. They have been doing this for the last fifty years. This is all political by locking up individuals for crimes they have not committed the prosecutors look like they are doing their jobs protecting the citizens, as for the civil cases they save the rich corporations millions in awards that they would have to pay out if they were found guilty of discrimination . These are people that contribute millions in campaign funds to the very crooks that are doing this. They know that these poor blacks and Mexicans that they’ve convicted using these methods are going to be executed are innocent and the documents in this book prove it . This book proves that the Shakman Consent Decree is a scam, in this book I have the only man that beat city hall and won it pro se after lawyer after lawyer sold him out for the city. He caught then changing dockets and forging signatures after altering the transcripts. He has original stickem notes in Cheryl Young’s writing telling his crooked attorney’s how she had changed the docket and removed 6 pages of one transcript using another six pages from a different days trial. We prove in this book that they are committing 60 B Fraud on the court and are guilty of the Rico Act of conspiracy and racketeering which there is no statute of limitations. This is the direction they must use to convict Burge because he was working in unity along with his officers with the prosecutor at the time Daley working with the courts officers to seal these men’s fate with a guilty conviction. Patrick Fitzgerald has read the book and looked at all the tapes and evidence that we have compiled after this book was printed. Eugene Wzorek who was the only man in 33 years since the Shakman Consent Decree was put in effect to ever beat them and win it . He widened the Shakman which took away the clause they had which made it not a political firing unless the Commissioner fired you and since your Supervisor was the one that fired you you had no case proving the city violated the decree you were told to sue the Supervisor and your case never made it out of summary judgement. You lost before you ever could walk into court. No lawyer would take a Shakman case under a contingency fee basis because they knew you were going to lose, so you just lost your job that you knew was for political reasons and now you had to cough up another $20,000 for attorney fees and you never even get to wslk into a courtroom because you lose on summary judgment slick huh! This book proves that the guys that were released from jail on DNA were not accidents by the prosecutors but was done on purpose with the knowledge that these individuals were innocent all along, and using the evidence in this book and trying to retrieve their audio tapes would prove that. That is the only way to get justice for the immigrants the minorities that are thrown in jail for twenty-seven years like Evans was . We need people to educate themselves and march in big numbers decending on the courts demanding that they follow the 2nd series court reporter act included in my book that states that even though the tapes are not writings they are under the common-law right to inspect law this has been affirmed by the courts recently. And is Federal Law The Law of the land so all 50 states must abide by it. This book is written by me, not a law scholar and it is written in such language that people that had no knowledge of the courts can read it and understand it. The pages are big for a reason so that you can use the court documents and briefs included foor your own cases like MAMA D has done and a lot of others. The minority community and the inmates in our prisons must be aware of this book . The Government under Patrick Fitzgerald sent an F.B.I. agent to get the book and meet with Wzorek and are handling the case but, I still don’t trust them, This is bigger than Watergate and Greylord put together . When the people find out that our courts the foundation of this country is ignoring the constitution and cheating and forging and falsely imprisoning the very taxpayers that they took an oath to protect the shit is really going to hit the fan. If you doubt what I am telling you then all you need to do is TRY to purchase the audio tapes of your clients. Find out whose side your lawyer is really on or were you paying for an enemy.

    Please get in contact with me if you have any questions.
    LINDA ACHOR
    7319 So Seminole Drive
    n Darien Illinois 60561
    630- 963-3426

    Like I said before I am not computer savy so if you have any questions just call me we need the help from anyone who will listen to help us spread the word about this book and it’s contents. It’s imperative that people know how to fight back they must be stopped and power is in knowledge and in numbers. Other people that have received this book are Fred Smart head coordinator for WE THE PEOPLE Clifford Kelly, Bill Doc Walls , Alan Key’s, Mark Brown of the sun-times , Natashia Korechi of the sun-times Alex Burkholder of Channel seven news. Dane Placko of Fox News Judge Andrew Napolitano of FOX News MAMA D U.S Atty Patrick Fitzgerald. Robert Warden ex head of the innocence program at NorthWestern University.Aaron Russo. Just to name a few, Judge Andrew Napolitano being an officer of the court thanked me in writing about the letter I sent him after seeing the evidence in this book he was too frightened to even admit that he received it. Who ever heard of receiving a seven pound letter, the letter was with the book. Robert Warden happened to be friends with Judge Duff and a lot of crooked judges named in the book, after ordering the book on his computer he was so shocked and disgusted by the deadly evidence that he quickly stepped down from his position on the innocence program and promptly wrote a book of his own about a 100 year old murder case that used fraud to get a conviction saying that things like that may be occurring now then he promptly hid under his desk. Charles Ex and former corporate counsels like him from the city whose job was at the time involved in cheating and forging for the city are recycled crooks that are now working in the U.S. Attorney’s office under Patrick Fitzgerald have a lot to answer for . We are waiting and listening but we don’t intend to be silent we are going to yell it to the world hopefully with everyones help. GOD HELP US GOD BLESS US!!!! Seems like he is the only one who can or WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD ORDER where only the very rich or the very poor can apply because the late great middle class will be extinct. That’s the whole idea you know. When the Supreme Court goes around ruling that a person with more money can buy your property legally then were almost there we must have patronage ruled unconstitutional because every one has a right to vote for whomever they choose and everyone has a right to work. Patronage undermines this and it must be come unconstitutional for any politicians to engage in it. It’s a cancer that’s spreading , that and political appointments must be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court Of United States. And since Chicago is in contempt of court by the ruling that wzorek was fired for political reasons which proved that the city purposely violated the Shakman Consent Decree we can start now!!!

  4. Hi Superb, very niceReally nice postWonderful post great job I just wanted you to know that I am new to your blog and I like this site Thanks for sharing , Really cool I did some looking around at and found some useful info there also.,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: