Friday, March 18, 2011

Kerosene Marker


During his recent visit to India, Mr.Bill Gates said that “There is no point in accumulating wealth if it does not take care of primary health of the poor.” The UPA Government, always reiterate its commitment to the poor and common man. In this regard, the Government always boasts of providing kerosene to nearly 6.5 million BPL families at hugely subsidized rates. It is also matter of fact and record the Government of India, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has not revised PDS-Kerosene prices. On one hand, this a noble gesture of the Government, however the greedy Minister and the bureaucrats in order to fill their own coffers do not hesitate to resort to the measures leading to killing these 6.5 million BPL families by adding marker to PDS Kerosene. As per a report submitted by Sh.A.K.Bhatnagar, Advisor,R&D of HPCL in the year 2005 that this Marker mixed with kerosene could expose to cancer-causing fumes. As per the Environment Protection Act, 1986, it is the mandatory requirement to carry out Environment Impact Assessment for introduction of an extraneous substance, i.e. Marker in Petroleum Products. Sh.Murli Deora, Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas in collusion with Sh.M.S.Srinivasan, then Secretary, P&NG, and the Oil PSU Managements awarded a contract of worth Rs.200 crores to M/s.Authentrix Ltd. U.K., and their Indian agents, M/s.SGS, Mumbai on nomination basis (single quotation), violating the statutory procedures cited below:-

  1. Huge contract of the value of Rs.200 crores awarded without issuing global tenders and without even doing the basic work of preparing specifications and cost estimates.
  2. Private company personnel illegally assigned to perform statutory functions under the Essential Commodities Act,1955- authority of those accorded powers of search and seizure got undermined.
  3. Conferring illegal statutory powers to private persons shall undermine the prosecution and administrative action process and will thus help adulterators.
  4. No requisite exercise done to prepare the estimated cost of the proposed work based on which further modalities of purchase is done- violations of CVC Circular.
  5. No Environment Impact Assessment was done for introduction of an extraneous substance, i.e. Marker in Petroleum Products- violation of Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  6. Chemical composition of Marker kept secret to suppress the real cost of the chemical vis-à-vis the price paid – criminal prosecution of the adulterators to be done on the basis of secret chemical- no person can be deprived of his liberty based on a secret test process- violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
  7. Statutory procedure for testing given in Motor Spirit and High Speed Diesel (Regulation of Supply, Distribution and Prevention of Malpractices) Order, 2005, - statutory procedure bypassed and replaced by the procedure imposed by a private company.
  8. Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell, whose job was only to conduct a study and to frame specifications, was made to exceed its brief and thereby recommended the names of M/s.Authentrix Ltd., U.K. and M/s. SGS Ltd. for the contract.
  9. No approval was taken from the State authorities under the Standards of Weights and Measurements Act, 1976.
  10. The credentials of the M/s.SGS were not ascertained before order was given.
  11. No approval of Finance Ministry was taken.
  12. Renewal of contract done by repeating the violations of laws detailed therein.

Ashok Singh, Convenor, Oil Sector Officers’ Association and Sh.R.P.Srivastava, Co-ordinator, OSOA, have been working tirelessly to eliminate corruption and adulteration from the Oil Sector. Lodged a formal complaint with Joint Director, CBI, Western Region and requested to register a regular case against the above accused persons on 12th May, 2008.

· 3 days after the complaint was lodged, Ashok Singh was suspended and later dismissed from service by HPCL. Sh. Srivastava was also suspended and dismissed from service.

· The issue was taken by Simpreet Singh as Public Interest Litigation with the Hon’ble Bombay High Court, where upon the CBI agreed before the Hon’ble Court that they would investigate the matter. Accordingly, the CBI registered the case vide PE/BA1/2009/A0001 against the accused persons.

· Ashok Singh and R.P.Srivastava requested the Central Vigilance Commissioner to provide them protection under Para 6 of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Government of India, No. 371/12/2002-AVD-III dated 21st April,2004 Resolution- VICTIMISATION OF A WHISTLEBLOWER.

· The above resolution is the outcome of an order from the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in case of a PIL filed in the matter of murder of Sh. Satyendra Dubey, an engineer of NHAI.

· Ashok Singh and Srivastava had a series of meetings with the Vigilance Commissioner, Sh. Sudhir Kumar. The Vigilance Commissioner assured Sh. Singh and Sh. Srivastava and also the representatives of the Oil Sector Officers’ Association that this is a open-and-shut (established) case of corruption and he would take prompt and stern action against the accused persons. Sh. Kumar further told the delegation in its meeting on 22.07.08, that he would provide necessary protection to Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava.

· However, to the utter shock of Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava, they received a letter dt- 31.10.08 from a Director in the Central Vigilance Commission declining them protection as a whistleblower and advising that since the complaint is lodged before the CBI, hence they would not be given any protection.

· The above argument of the Commission is contrary to the spirit of the Resolution itself. During the period, it also became clear that the Commission is working under the influence of Sh. Murli Deora and Secretary Petroleum. CVC has completely failed in discharging their duties and have betrayed the trust posed in the Commission by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

· It became evident on 04.01.09 when Sh, Murli Deora called up Sh. Ashok Singh from his official residence number- 011 24693941, threatening him not to pursue the matter any further. He went on to add that Sh.Sudhir Kumar is a personal friend of his and Ashok Singh should not expect any justice from Sh.Sudhir Kumar.

· With the blessings and active support of Sh. Deora and his Ministry officials, HPCL Management continued to commit atrocities and illegalities against Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava. The height of atrocities resulted into illegal dismissal of Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava on 12.03.09 from the service of HPCL.

· Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava filed a case against Sh.Murli Deora and seven other Respondents including Central Vigilance Commissioner.

· Sensing serious trouble for himself, Sh.Deora approached Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava on 07.06.09 and tendered his unconditional apologies for all the atrocities committed by him in collusion with HPCL Management. Sh.Deora requested Sh. Singh that he be forgiven for all his misdeeds and even if he forgives, the God may not forgive him. Sh.Deora further assured Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava that he would initiate stern action against C&MD, HPCL, for taking illegal action against Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava.

· Sh.Deora personally met Sh.Singh on 13.06.09, and 14.06.09 at his residence in Delhi and reiterated the same assurance. During the said meeting, Sh.Singh reported several cases of corruption against Sh.Arun Balakrishnan, C&MD od HPCL. However, Sh.Deora insisted that Sh. Singh should not pursue these corruption cases and he would reinstate Sh.Singh and Sh. Srivastava in the services of HPCL. Sh.Deora further told Sh.Singh that during these 13 months, Sh. Singh could not get any support from any authority, including the top leadership of Congress Party. It is a matter of record and fact that Sh.Singh was categorically conveyed by the leadership of Congress Party not to raise the issue of corruption. It is shocking to note that the Government which boasts of zero-tolerance of corruption and also proposes to bring an Act to replace the existing Resolution to protect the whistle-blowers, in reality, they only protect their corrupt Ministers and Bureaucrats.

· The purpose of this article is to bring awareness amongst the honest, upright, promising nationalists not to fall prey to the false promises of the Government of India, Central Vigilance Commission and other Government Agencies. These above named agencies are real wolves in the façade of angels.

We appeal to the readers of this article to watch a forth-coming movie ‘Carnage By Angels’ produced by an eminent crusader against corruption, Sh.Y.P.Singh who resigned from the I.P.S. to fight against corruption. Let all right-thinking people join hands today to fight against the cancer of corruption which is not even sparing the poorest of the poor, i.e. the user of PDS-Kerosene. It is our moral duty to fight against this corrupt system so that we do not allow the innocent 6.5 million families to fall prey to the greed of these wolves and die of cancer. Let us learn a lesson from the Father of the Nation and get freedom for the country from corruption by launching a nation-wide movement.

Long Live the Spirit of Whistle-blowers of the country!! Jai Hind!!!

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