Dear Mr Garg!
Today, the 19th Day of August 2012, I am indulging in the endeavour of explaining to you – one of the Vigilance Commissioners of India – the meanings of two terms.
The first is Garg – which happens to be your last name.
The term Garg indicates you belong to the north Indian merchant [or Vaishya] Aggarwal community.
The community traces its origins to King Agrasen, a person believed to have lived during the Mahabharata era some 5000 years ago.
Allow me to quote the names of a few well known pillars of the society whose lives have made the Aggarwal community famous.
The best amongst the Aggarwals are the originators of 2 highly respected religions of the world viz. Jainism and Buddhism – Vardhamana Mahaavira and Gautama Budhdhaa respectively.
The foremost known to us in recent times is the father of our nation – MK Gandhi.
The next, in my reckoning ought to be the doyen of Indian industrialists GD Birla.
Of course, you too belong to this community as your name suggests.
My enquiries about you reveal that you were once known as a strict banker who made union leaders of Corporation Bank sweat during your tenure as its CMD for a little over 20 months.
One CITU old hand recalled, “The guy has an iron hand without the velvet glove. I remember once when I had given a strike notice and had to meet him. He said, “I can tell you clearly what to do with your notice, but that isn’t my style. Withdraw the notice, hold talks and I will solve the issues by helping those colleagues you represent. And he did.”
Mr TM Bhasin took over as CMD of Indian Bank in April 2010 and you moved into your current office as the Vigilance Commissioner some 5 months later.
A perusal of your CV informs me that you are in possession of a post-graduate’s degree in physics from Punjab University.
And yes, you spent 34 years with Indian Bank, where you are still held in awe by a section of the employees.
Later you were pushed upstairs to be Executive Director Punjab National Bank before your tenure in Corporation Bank and have finally reached the pinnacle of your career – as the final arbitrator of the banking industry in India as its Vigilance Commissioner.
Corporation Bank’s business grew by 54 per cent when you were its CMD.
Your actions ensured its profits were northward bound and when you handed over the charge to your successor, it had clocked an increase by, if my memory serves me right, exactly by 30.38 per cent.
This is what the Vigilance Commission’s website says about its performance, Mr. Garg:
Performance during June, 2012
(i) Commission advised issuance of sanction for prosecution in respect of 10 officials of various Ministries / Departments / Organizations which includes two IAS officers, one Dy. Commissioner of Income Tax and one Dy. General Manager of D/o Telecommunications.
(ii) Prosecution sanctions were issued by the Competent Authorities in 7 cases during the month which includes one DIG level IPS officer, one IAS officer, one Superintending Engineer of M/o Information & Broadcasting, one Chief Manager of State Bank of India and one Jt. Director from M/o Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
(iii) Commission processed 2166 complaints (including 17 whistle blower complaints) during the month and sought investigation/factual report in 40 complaints from the concerned Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations.
(iv) Commission advised initiation of major penalty proceedings against 172 officials of various Ministries / Departments / Organizations which includes an Executive Director, Chief General Manager and a General Manager of Industrial Development Bank of India and one Director of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, one Commandant of Sashastra Seema Bal, Director (F) & CMD of Hindustan Photo Films Manufacturing Company Ltd., one Director of Steel Authority of India Ltd., one Commissioner of Income Tax and two Commissioners Excise & Customs, two Additional Commissioners of Income Tax, one Controller(Finance) and one General Manager of Ordnance Factory Board.
(v) Commission advised imposition of major penalty against 31 officials of various Ministries/Departments/Organizations, which includes one Chief General Manager, BSNL and two General Managers of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.
(vi) On the advice of the Commission, the Competent Authorities imposed major penalties in respect of 66 officials of various Ministries / Departments / Organisations, which includes one Chief Engineer of Ministry of Shipping, one Chief General Manager and one ex-General Manager of IDBI, one Joint Commissioner of Central Board of Excise & Customs and one Superintending Engineer of M/o Water Resources.
(vii) Chief Technical Examiner’s Organization submitted 8 technical examination reports and these examinations resulted in recovery of Rs.8,07,73,738/- during June, 2012.
(viii) 20 Vigilance clearances were accorded for empanelment of board level appointments.
The last item of according 20 Vigilance Clearances for empanelment of board level appointments is where the Central Vigilance Commission, in my opinion, did something that can be termed Beda Gark, the second term I wanted to explain today.
So what does it mean?
Beda Gark is a simple term usually used as a criticism by persons irritated when an important work is spoilt.
Allow me to recall again, Mr Garg, you spent 34 years in Indian Bank.
I had been a client of Indian Bank for long.
One of the former CMDs of Indian Bank – Mr TS Raghavan is the Chairman of a company called Giri Trading Agency P Ltd – for which I once was the first CMD.
Now,no longer consider myself a client of Indian Bank and neither am I a shareholder of GTAPL.
That does not pertain to Indian Bank per se.
Something else does.
In August 2011, the Central Vigilance Commission registered a case against Mr Bhasin on the basis of my complaint vide 1051/11/3.
As of July 11 2012, its status was:
Sent to CVO for Investigation/Action Taken Report on date: 4/8/2011
CVO Report Received on date: 19/1/2012
Commission Advised Closure of on: 25/6/2012
That is Beda Gark # 1 - yours.
Here is why:
I am continuing to accuse Mr Bhasin of having fiddled with the elevation recommendation and assessment papers of one Malay Mukherjee, General Manager, Indian Bank, Kolkata.
In my opinion, the deed of Mr Bhasin rifling a sealed envelope containing recommendations of former Indian Bank CMD Mr M.S. Sundara Rajan to elevate Mukherjee to a director’s post meant to be sent to Reserve Bank of India amounted to commission of various offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
Such offences, in my opinion, include forgery.
To my knowledge, a junior official Mr Kannan ferried those papers between Mr Sundara Rajan and Mr Bhasin and it was rifled by none other the so-called ‘merry bachelor’ of Indian Bank HQ Venkataramanan who played the dirty cat’s paw at the behest of none than Mr Bhasin himself.
To my knowledge again, Mr Mukherjee, also known as the Bhasin of Kolkata, has not withdrawn his complaint against Mr Bhasin.
To my knowledge, Mr Sundara Rajan and Mr Bhattacharya, retired CMD and ED of Indian Bank respectively, have said in writing that they had recommended the elevation of Mr Mukherjee which was interfered with by Mr Bhasin when he had no authority to do so.
That clearly indicates the commission of a serious offence by Mr Bhasin and it entails punishment for passing forged documents as originals or in other words under section 420 IPC.
That apart, Mr Bhasin has been regularly stealing from clients’ accounts, triggered the suspension of another General Manager B Panda for the “offence of a car door not opening,” authorised the elevation of his relatives who had been proceeded against departmentally within Indian Bank for criminal offences, attempted to destroy businesses of clients of the bank, went abroad for what can be termed useless but costly junkets at the expense of taxpayers’ money, triggered his junior officers lying about facts when questioned under Right to Information Act and the worst of it all, attempted to play politics while continuing to occupy a public sector post at the pleasure of the President of India.
Incidentally sir, Mr Bhasin has been floating rumours that he had partly financed the elevation of Mr Pranab Mukherjee to the office of the President.
Significantly, Mr Mukherjee had ‘inaugurated’ the headquarters of Indian Bank earlier this year when it already had been inaugurated by none else than Mr Bhasin himself and had been functional for over 5 months! And for this silly drama, Mr Bhasin had spent over Rs.3 crores!
All this has been documented by me vide my blogs whose common heading is Certifiably Unbankable. I have posted forty one of them already.
If you ask your secretary to Google the terms Certifiably Unbankable + Indian Bank getting all the 41 of them in a jiffy would be very, very easy.
This is what India Infoline Ltd [IIFL], the portal that commercial India trusts, says about Indian Bank:
Indian Bank is a premier bank owned by the Government of India.
It was established on August 15th, 1907 as part of the Swadeshi movement serving the nation with a team of over 19,000 dedicated staff.
Indian Bank's own balance sheet in July 2012 says the following:
Net worth Rs. 10,801.43 crores
Deposits Rs. 120,803.80 crores
Total Liabilities Rs. 141,419.19 crores
I do not have to be Sherlock Holmes to discern that the bank is seriously in the red, Mr Garg.
That makes it Beda Gark # 2.
When you juxtapose other acts of Mr Bhasin, they collectively become Beda Gark raised to the power of infinity of Indian Bank.
Let us, for the time being, term the allowance of Mr Bhasin to do as he pleases [like allowing him to use the HQ of the bank in Chennai as a vacation spot and his operating mostly from New Delhi among other things] as Beda Gark # 3.
And by your act, Mr Garg, you have condoned in your position of as one of the Central Vigilance Commissioners Beda Gark # 3.
As a taxpaying citizen of this nation, I have the following questions to ask you, Mr Garg:
1. Before you ordered the closure of the case against Mr Bhasin, did you obtain a written legal opinion as to whether Mr Bhasin can be exonerated of charges that are punishable under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code sir?
2. If yes, can you produce them sir?
Before answering that question, sir, kindly remember the following:
Reply sent to the undersigned in writing on Mr Bhasin’s behalf for my RTI application by the then DGM G Manoharan [since promoted]:
Ref: HO:CSC:RTI:1788:2011-12-2383 dated November 14 2011
Query 15: Has any enquiry been instituted against you [Mr Bhasin] in Central Vigilance Commission? If yes, have you been enquired into?
Reply: No enquiry has been instituted against CMD [Mr Bhasin] in CVC.
Query 16: Has the Chief Vigilance Officer working in Indian Bank functioning under the Central Vigilance Commission questioned you [Mr Bhasin] with regard to issues raised by the CVC?
Reply: A complaint was referred to the Bank, which was duly replied to by CVO.
Operative contents of letter issued by Central Vigilance Commission Ref. 1112/BNK/8-138890 dated 4-8-2011 addressed to TSV Hari, signed by Section Officer VIG – III.
Sub: Your complaint against Shri T.M. Bhasin, CMD Indian Bank
Your complaint has been registered … number 1051/11/3.
The current status according the CVC website as on June 14 2012:
Status of Complaint No: 1051/11/3
Sent to CVO for Investigation/Action Taken Report on date : 4/8/2011
CVO Report Received on date: 19/1/2012
Being examined in the Commission
The disclaimer legend of CVC
Generally reports on the complaints sent by the Commission for investigation, are expected by the Commission within a period of three months.
Subsequent disciplinary action by the concerned Disciplinary Authority takes around six months.
Imposition of penalty takes a further period of three to six months.
3. If the legal opinion adequately cleared the closing of the case against Mr Bhasin, was it done, in your opinion sir, with the correct application of mind of the lawyers concerned?
4. If the answer to # 3 is a ‘maybe’ or a no, kindly allow me the luxury of knowing whether someone accepted some money from Mr Bhasin in order to close the case sir to complete the next series of Beda Garks?
5. If the answer is NO to # 4, could you kindly elaborate as to whether any political pressure was applied on behalf of Mr Bhasin, sir since he claims to be very close to Mr Rahul Gandhi?
6. If the answer is YES to # 4 would you allow yourself to honestly and emphatically say that you are not the recipient of Mr Bhasin’s monetary gratification sir?
7. And if the answer is YES to # 4 and to # 6, sir, would you then find out who accepted money from Mr Bhasin to justify the closure of Complaint No: 1051/11/3?
I sincerely hope I will not be forced to send you a list of queries under the Right to Information Act on this count, sir.
That would be Beda Gark # 4.
Meanwhile, here are some other Beda Gark affairs of Indian Bank, in case you did not know:
Indian Bank, a state-owned financial services company headquartered in Chennai has 22,000 employees, 1923 branches and is one of the big public sector banks of India.
It has overseas branches in Colombo and Jaffna, Sri Lanka, Singapore and 229 correspondent banks in 69 countries.
Since 1969 the Government of India has owned the bank, which celebrated its centenary in 2007.
Only Indian Bank has figured in the list of Fortune 500 companies other than the State Bank of India, ever.
In the last quarter of 1906, Madras (now Chennai) was hit by the worst financial crisis the city was ever to suffer.
Of the three best-known British commercial names in 19th century Madras, one crashed; a second had to be resurrected by a distress sale; and the third had to be bailed out by a benevolent benefactor.
Arbuthnot & Co, which failed, was considered the soundest of the three. Parry’s (now EID Parry), may have been the earliest of them and Binny & Co’s founders may have had the oldest associations with Madras, but it was Arbuthnot, established in 1810, that was the city's strongest commercial organization in the 19th Century.
A key figure in the bankruptcy case for Arbuthnot's was the Madras lawyer, V Krishnaswamy Iyer; he went on to organize a group of Chettiars that founded Indian Bank. Annamalai and Ramaswami Chettiar founded Indian Bank (IB) on 15 August 1907.
IB began its international expansion in 1932 when it opened a branch in Colombo.
A branch in Jaffna followed three years later, but this was not successful and Indian Bank closed it in 1939. Just before World War II reached the region, Indian Bank opened a branch in 1940, in Rangoon now Yangon.
The next year it closed the Rangoon branch, but opened branches in Singapore (where future branch manager KB Pisharody (1915–1998) started his career in the same year), and in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang.
The rapid advance of the Japanese Army forced IB to close all its branches in Malaya and Singapore. Although the Japanese forces did not reach Ceylon, IB closed the Colombo branch in 1942.
After the war, IB reopened its Malayan and Singapore branches. Then in 1948 it reopened its branch in Colombo.
The 1960s saw IB expand domestically as it acquired Mannargudi Bank (est. 1932) and Salem Bank (est. 1925).
Then on 19 July 1969 the Government of India nationalized 14 top banks, including Indian Bank.
In 1973 Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, and United Commercial Bank established United Asian Bank Berhad in response to a new banking law in Malaysia that prohibited foreign government banks from operating in the country.
International expansion continued in 1978 with IB becoming a technical adviser to PT Bank Rama in Indonesia, the result of the merger of PT Bank Masyarakat and PT Bank Ramayana. Two years later, IB, Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India established IUB International Finance, a licensed deposit taker in Hong Kong. Each of the three banks took an equal share in the joint venture.
In 1987, Indian Bank bought in two more acquisitions when it rescued Bank of Tanjore, based in Tamil Nadu.
A multi-crore scam was exposed in 1992, where then chairman M. Gopalakrishnan lent loan to small corporates and exporters from the south amounting to 1,300 crore.
The amount was never paid back by the borrowers.
Bank of Baroda bought out its partners in IUB International Finance in Hong Kong in 1998.
Apparently this was a response to regulatory changes following Hong Kong’s reversion. IUB became Bank of Baroda (Hong Kong), a restricted license bank.
The author places his appreciation of Wikipedia for the information above on record.
Now, I have strong reasons to believe Mr Garg sir that Mr Bhasin is trying to be CMD of Bank of Baroda.
If such an event happens Mr Garg, I shall first term it as Beda Gark #5 – this one committed by you and you alone.