Central Bank buy Peace against Daruwalla Scam Buster
October 12, 2010 2 Comments
For over two years, Abhijit Ghosh, who recently retired as the general manager of Central Bank of India, battled attempts to victimize him after he blew the whistle on his senior, then chairperson and managing director H A Daruwalla, at the Central Vigilance Commission.
He moved the Delhi high court for relief when the CVC closed his complaint and the bank hit back. Later he invoked the RTI Act to show the massive amount the bank was spending on lawyers to frustrate him (as reported by TOI on July 18).
Unexpectedly, Ghosh has now given in. ”A month ago, he signed an agreement with the Central Bank of India. He has given us an undertaking that he will withdraw all cases and contempt petitions filed against Daruwalla,” a senior official said.
The retired GM has also promised that he will not take the issue to the print and electronic media in future. He did not respond to TOI’s queries on his decision on Saturday.
Ghosh is one of the most glaring examples of a harassed whistleblower forced to buy peace, bringing focus on the urgent need for India to finalize its whistleblower protection policy.
Alarmed by the irregularities during Daruwalla’s tenure, Ghosh, then the general manager, filed a comprehensive complaint before the CVC.
The main allegations were that Daruwalla had pressed loan seekers to make huge donations to a school where she had studied, empanelled a travel agency in which her sister was employed and diverted a bulk of the bank’s work to it and entered into negotiations with the lowest bidders on tenders related to publication of diaries and calendars.
As there was no response from the CVC, Ghosh filed a writ petition against his own organization in September 2008. Stunned and shocked by Ghosh’s revolt, the bank filed a chargesheet and later suspended him.
”If a whistleblower is allowed to be victimized in such a manner by his own department and the CVC fails to protect him or her, it will demoralize other whistleblowers and frustrate the object of the whistleblower notification… the court must ensure that he is not unnnecessarily victimised,” Ghosh told HC.
As the case was in progress, Ghosh invoked the RTI Act to find out that the bank had paid lawyers a total of Rs 69.24 lakh, including Rs 48.5 lakh to Congress spokesman and top lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, to keep him at bay.
The only silver lining is that the ministry of finance on Aug 10, 2010, informed the CVC that some of the allegations against Daruwalla stand proved and the CVC may advise on the further course of action against the MD, who retired on December 31, 2008.
Source : TOI