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Ex-official: Murmu, appointed as CAG, will 'surely' perform shradh of the institution

GC Murmu (middle) with Modi: 2014
Counterview Desk
A former senior official of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Shantanu Basu, in a Facebook comment in the wake of the appointment of GC Murmu, a Gujarat IAS cadre official of the 1985, has raised doubts about the independence of CAG following the Government of India move.
Citing an example how way back in 2010 the process of undermining CAG had begun, Basu, who has been actively commenting on financial issues on his Facebook timeline, believes that while CAG’s “cremation” had happened under Murmu’s processor, all that is left for the new appointee, known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ever since the latter’s Gujarat days, is to perform the organization’s “shradh”.

Text:

During a routine technical inspection of an audit office in Delhi in 2010, I came across yet another case of evident mega malfeasance. The state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) had entered into a joint venture with a private company to set up a thermal power plant/piped natural gas (TPP/PNG)-powered plant in Haryana, sometime in 2007-08.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approval provided for implementation of the project on BOOT basis. PGCIL's share of the project cost was over Rs 8000 crore. This approval of CCEA was amended on file by the then Union Power Secretary, a Haryana cadre IAS officer, to remove the T-transfer after completion of the 30-year period specified in the agreement with the private party.
In effect, a measly IAS officer amended the approval of a committee headed the Prime Minister that itself ought to have merited dismissal from service. Instead, the project went on till the audit office objected to it on the above ground. The issue was marked for inclusion in one of CAG's annual commercial audit reports.
This objection was reviewed by CAG and the then deputy CAG (commercial) closed this objection without assigning any reason whatever. A few weeks later, the then chief vigilance commissioner (CVC) wrote to the then CAG (Vinod Rai, who was a bosom pal of the Power Secretary) seeking reasons why the objection was closed by audit.
Even though the file was under my inspection, it was recalled by the audit office and submitted to the same deputy CAG for further action, “as discussed''. The file was returned within two days to the audit office.
On that file there was a copy of a reply from Vinod Rai to the CVC denying that the objection was ever closed. The file was suitably tailored with all officers of the audit office being coerced to replace the full noting in mater of just 2-3 hours.
I had kept a copy of the original notes and realized the difference when the audit office returned the file to me. Nonetheless, I included this issue with my findings (with a copy of the original notes). The report was never referred to the audit office for replies/compliance, indeed probably destroyed.
Today when I find GC Murmu appointed as CAG, I despair, since he will certainly perform the “shradh” of the CAG's institution, his predecessor, Rajiv Mehrishi having carried out its cremation by not reporting his findings for three long years.
RB Sreekumar, who was in-charge of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) from April 9, 2002 to September 17, 2002, made a charge in his third affidavit to the Justice Nanavati Commission, constituted to probe the Godhra train burning incident and the riots that followed. He alleged that in a meeting held on August 24, 2004, Murmu had “unauthorisedly tutored, intimidated, forced and pressured” him to depose in favour of the state government during his impending cross examination before the commission on August 31. 
Sreekumar
Making a special mention of Murmu, Sreekumar had submitted that he had been “authorised and entrusted with the task of tutoring and briefing government officials deposing before the Nanavati Commission by the highest authorities of the government and Home Department.”
That is why, he reasoned, Murmu, who belonged to the 1985 batch of IAS, had “dared to summon me, a 1971 batch officer in IPS, holding the rank of additional DGP/additional secretary, Government of India. One who listens to the recorded audio tape of the meeting can get convinced that Shri Murmu has talked to me with an authoritative posture without even observing the conventional etiquette followed in interaction with senior officials of All India Services.”
That was not all. According to Sreekumar, Murmu had even spoken about how he had briefed an even more senior IAS officer, Ashok Narayan (1966 batch), who was the State Vigilance Commissioner and a former additional chief secretary – and who happened to be the senior-most serving IAS officer in the state.
“Such a posture by Shri Murmu is possible only if he has the specific support and clearance from the higher authorities in the government, i.e. the Hon’ble Home Minister / the Hon’ble Chief Minister,” Sreekumar had submitted.
Need I say anything more about Modi sarkar's integrity?

Comments

Vary said…
Thanks for bringing this to the general masses. The sudden manner of Mr. Murmu's replacement with a political figure as LG J&K and now being made the CAG India speaks very badly about the integrity of the democratic institutions in the country.

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