Skip to main content

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.

TRENDING

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Joblessness, saffronisation, corporatisation of education: BJP 'squarely responsible'

Counterview Desk  In an open appeal to youth and students across India, several student and youth organizations from across India have said that the ruling party is squarely accountable for the issues concerning the students and the youth, including expensive education and extensive joblessness.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Following the 3000-year old Pharaoh legacy? Poll-eve Surya tilak on Ram Lalla statue

By Sukla Sen  Located at a site called Abu Simbel in Nubia, Upper Egypt, the eponymous rock temples were created in 1244 BCE, under the orders of Pharaoh Ramesses II (1303-1213 BC)... Ramesses II was fond of showcasing his achievements. It was this desire to brag about his victory that led to the planning and eventual construction of the temples (interestingly, historians say that the Battle of Qadesh actually ended in a draw based on the depicted story -- not quite the definitive victory Ramesses II was making it out to be).

Why it's only Modi ki guarantee, not BJP's, and how Varanasi has seen it up-close

"Development" along Ganga By Rosamma Thomas*  I was in Varanasi in this April, days before polling began for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. There are huge billboards advertising the Member of Parliament from Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The only image on all these large hoardings is of the PM, against a saffron background. It is as if the very person of Modi is what his party wishes to showcase.