ALL INDIA POSTAL EMPLOYEES UNION GROUP ‘C’
(Affiliated to the National Federation of Postal Employees)
Rashmin Purohit Circle Secretary, Postal Store Depot, Shahibag, Ahmedabad 380 004
M.9427208408 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http//:aipeugujarat.blogspot.com
No.P3/Palanpur/Recoveries/2015 dated 13th June, 2015
MEMORANDUM AGAINST ISSUE OF ILLOGICAL AND UNFAIR ORDERS OF RECOVERIES OF AMOUNTS BY SPO BANASKANTHA DIVISION IN CONNECTION WITH FRAUD CASE AT SIHORI S.O OF BANASKANTHA DIVISION.
Staff side is very much stressed and feeling shocked by the quite illogical and unfair orders issued by the SP Banaskantha division for recoveries of huge amounts from pockets of innocent Postal Employees of Banaskantha division in connection with the fraud case of Sihori S.O.
We understand that it is not fair and appropriate for intervening into the process of investigation into fraud cases when it is going on but in this case the matter is so much serious and shocking that unless we intervene into the case, there is possibility of great and irreparable loss and psychological upset of the effected employees.
Staff side makes it clear that we have advised concerned employees to make individual representations and the same have already been submitted to the concerned authorities but there are few general facts and material of the case which are required to be immediately considered by the higher authorities i.e. head of the circle.
First of all it is very sad that there are so many officials, say 14 officials to whom the SP Banaskantha division has issued a very brief letter in a stereotype method asking to willingly credit huge amounts as UCR at Palanpur S.O. and also it is threatened that departmental action will be initiated if the officials fail to credit the same. It is very surprising and unfair that there is no description in any of the letter as to how the amount shown therein has been calculated or how the responsibility has been fixed. As such our primary demand that the higher authorities may call for copies of these letters and review propriety of action.
Copies of all said 14 letters are enclosed herewith for perusal. Let us discuss on few of the letters as exemplary basis:
In the notice given to Shri. D.M.Pujara, it is simply written that “you are failed to verify and carry out prescribed checks in LOTs of Sihori SO as per rule and thus facilitated Shri.Waghela to commit huge amount of fraud at Sihori HO.” It is asked to credit Rs.6,20,530/-. By using 1/4th space of A4 size paper and writing only 4-5 sentences the SP Banaskantha division has asked for crediting such a huge amount! There is no mention as to what is the fact and details of the fraud case, what is the lecuna and what has not been observed? It is also very unfair that in this letter it is mentioned that “you are identified as subsidiary offender into the case and your proportionate contributory share comes to such amount”!! What is the calculation and what is meant by proportionate? The rule of natural justice require that before ordering recovery of any amount the divis\ional head has to describe the details of the case and inform about the nature of responsibilities to afford an opportunity of making an appropriate defense. The Banaskantha division has become an exception in this matter. The SPO is free to order any huge amount to any official without discussing anything and without giving any reasonable opportunity of making any representation.
Staff side is also very much agitated due to arbitrary approach of the SP Banaskantha division. No higher authority would support the way and method adopted by this SP. It is more surprising that by order No.F4/1/Shihori SO/13-14 dated 18.6.13 the SP has directed Supervisor SBCO to complete pending posting work of all kind of accounts standing opened at the said SO. Please note that this order has been given only after the fraud coming in light. It proves that the posting work of RD was done directly in SBCO branch of Palanpur HO in the V2SBCO software. No posting was done at SBSO branch. The SBSO branch was merely preparing “Compilation Journal” to incorporate amounts only. More over there was incomplete posting of deposits by SBCO branch when the fraud has been committed. In other words, when there was no regular posting, how anybody could adjudge insufficient balance in any account coming for closure. This is the real fact and procedure. As such no Postal assistant working in SB branch was attending the work of posting of RD deposits. As and when any account comes for closing even, the SBSO branch was merely taking the amount into account, there was no data available with SB SO branch to carry out any check and therefore no responsibility can be thrown on that staff. However letter has been given to so many officials for depositing amounts saying that the RD accounts were having insufficient balance and payment of full amount on maturity has been given. Cases of Shri.P.R.Parikh, K.S.Joshi, D.M.Pujara, B.H.Rotakar, B.G.Mevada, M.P.Patel, M.N.Ven, P.A.Vyas are similar in which orders of recovery has been given on similar plea of payment of full maturity amount in RD closures though balance was insufficient.
It is also quite unlawful process adopted by the SP Banaskantha division that before issuing such directions to the employees he did not find it necessary to ask for any explanation or did not record any statement of the concerned official and directly asked for credit of amounts as UCR.
There are some other astonishing examples too. If we see to the case of Shri.D.R.Suthar it gives no idea as to what is wrong and where is fraud! It is mentioned that: “ while you were working as SPM Sihori, “Shri.Waghela PA Shihori misappropriated in RD account No 1896228,74450590,1895973,1899059 but you are failed to supervise over the work of PA Sihori as required by rule, not maintain stock register of passbooks..etc. Looking to above irregularities it is concluded that if care would have been taken by you to ensure integrity and devotion to duty of shri.Waghela the then PA Shihori SO under your control and also report shortage of 9 pass books be made to higher authority, fraud at Shihori could have been detected/prevented earlier. Your proportionate share of loss comes to Rs.21224/-“!!! We are unable to understand what SP wants to say and prove on part of the official! However we may clarify that all above accounts are already current even today except one of the above mentioned account No.1899059 which was closed on 19.3.15 i.e. after fraud detection. When all were current with unquestionable balance and when there is no complaint from any of the depositors of the accounts shown here, what is wrong the SP Bk Dn finds in these accounts? How and what is loss or fraud? There is no deficit or no closure in any of the above said account and therefore there is no liability on the department and there is no reason for asking recovery of any amount. More over the SPM while taking charge from PA at first instance reported to SP about non maintenance of stock register of passbooks. When the stock register was not maintained at Shihori PO, how can anyone come to conclusion of shortfall of 9 passbooks? The SPM took actual stock on hand and started new stock register after making a report to the divisional head about non maintaining of stock register and therefore there is no reason to wax SPM in the matter. We are unable to understand even what is wrong on part of Shri. Suthar and why he can be asked to deposit any amount. This is the best example of haphazard and irrational dealing by SP Banaskantha with a serious fraud case.
In few other cases staff side has observed that the officials were nowhere in picture and has no role in the process of any type of transactions but they are simply asked to deposit amounts as UCR. For example: M.P.Patel was working in TDS branch only and no other work, Shri.M.M.Ven was working in MIS only, Shri.K.H.Joshi worked only 3 days as Supervisor, B.H.Rotatar was working to short and serial voucher only, Shri.B.J.Mevada was working in SB only,Shri P.A.Vyas was working for voucher sorting only/ As such above said officials had nothing to do with transactions in RD but they are asked to credit some amounts by holding them responsible for no reasons. This shows that there is no application of mind on part of SP Banaskantha.
In case of Shri.S.D.Suthar Offg SDI quite irrelevant issues have been considered vide letter dtd 28.5.15 and it is asked to credit huge amount like Rs.634980/-. The official has replied all points on 8.6.15 which is self explanatory. There is no mention at all that what has resulted in what type of fraud in which account. More over Shihori SO was not a single handed PO and therefore no checks like Single handed PO were necessary but the SPO said that the SDI failed to carry out such checks, More over the Offg.SDI already mentioned irregularity in stock register of Passbooks in his IR but the SP says that he failed to make a separate report! When a mention in Para of IR is made, it is incumbent upon IR branch and ASP concerned working at DO to take cognizance and further action. There are so many other points which the official has clarified in his reply but it is surprising how the calculation of big amount of above 6 lacs is made and what is fault of the SDI in the matter. As such the SP is mechanically distributing amounts as per his whims and idea without application of mind. This case also requires detailed review.
As noticed by us, the SP Banaskantha is the first responsible person for this fraud cases and whatever loss to the government on account of this case for few reasons shown below:
Shri.Waghela the Principle offender in this fraud case had a dirty and fraudulent background of past work as he committed serious irregularities while working at Thara SO where he was retaining very huge cash on hand and at that time he was shifted to other office in the interest of service by the SP after approval of CO and an order to not to entrust him monetory work was given. If relevant correspondence of the then SP is referred it would make the picture clear. Subsequently at Bhabhar SO also he detained amounts of delivered VP articles in his pocket and did not issue VPMOs regularly and the matter was noticed by the then SP and IR Para of Bhabhar SO also shows that the official was not having clean hands while dealing monitory transactions. Then he was postd Shihori SO but he was asked to work as PA under his junior SPM. At Shihori, he committed big fraud. He was also ordered to be Treasurer in August 2012. In September 2012 he was ordered as SPM and he started to work as SPM as well as Treasurer from that time! The action of SP Banaskantha to post such a fraudulent person as SPM cum Treasurer in violation of rules has given free hands and fully facilitated the accused Shri. Waghla to commit fraud and none other but the SP is responsible for this. It was totally irregular action to post such a fraudulent person as Treasurer. The main reason behind this fraud case is posting of such a person as SPM cum Treasurer and only the SP is responsible for the misdeeds of shri. Waghela. To save his own skin and to escape from his pecuniary liability on account of administrative negligence, the SP has thrown responsibility on quite innocent employees in a quite illogical and unfair way.
It is also pertinent to observe that there is FIR for Rs.10,40,800/- against Shri.Waghela who committed fraud by his hands in RD accounts. The description in FIR clearly shows that the department is fully aware that this accused has done fraudulent transactions. It is quite against justice and fairness of action to order recovery from other innocent officials when the same department launches FIR against a particular official accused for misappropriatin of big account. In all cases Shri.Waghela had taken amounts from MPKBY Agents with Pay rolls and did not credit the same to the government. This fact proves that the staff of Palanpur HO has nothing to do with the transactions which has not come at HO. But unfortunately so many employees have been asked to credit amounts.
It is also a very important and doubtful point to look into that the SP Banaskantha division had been at Shihori for more then 7 times in connection with business development or RPLI mela etc and set in the office on all the occasions but he did not take any care to pay official visit of this office and issue Visit Remarks. There are also instructions for inspection of an office by the Divisional head at prescribed interval but this office was not inspected at all by the divisional head. As such the approach of the SP is quite suspicious on account of not visiting the office and issue of VR even though he happened to be inside the Shihori So for a number of times and avoided to include it from the list of offices to be inspected by the divisional head. This aspect must be investigated from the vigilance point of view by referring to diaries of the concerned officer to establish that he had been at Shihori itself on several occasions.
It is also fact that total of amount asked by SP to 14 innocent employees for credit comes to 2115500 plus penal interest about 4 lacs rupees. Again see that the FIR is launched for Rs.10,40,800/-. The amounts of claims sanctioned by the SP Banaskantha in this case comes to round about Rs.1000000/- (Ten lacs). There is no convincing logic in these statistics. The innocent employees have to credit about Rs.25 lacs aginst claims of Rs. 10 lacs and FIR of Rs.10 lacs. How and what is this calculation?
Staff side has main grievance against the SP Banaskantha division about his eye-catching support to the principle offender and waxing innocent employees. The principle offender is working as PA Palanpur HO and getting pay. He has several amounts in his balance like GPF etc. He owns assets and land which are valuing more than the amount of fraud committed by him. There is already a FIR against him with allegation of fraud in same accounts at Shihori PO. It is not known as to what is total amount of loss calculated by the SP and what is the criteria of distribution of contributory responsibilities. It is also not known what is the sum of contributory responsibility is fixed on principle offender! The SP has taken operative staff only for distribution of contributory responsibility but it should be reviewed by recalculating contributory responsibility of administrative side including SP himself also.
It is more important to note that the SP has approached Collector Banaskantha- Palanpur for taking immovable property of Shri. Waghela in government and the case is pending. On other hand the official Shri. Waghela is already serving as PA Palanpur SO and he is quite fearless and happy because innocent employees are pressurized to credit amounts into the government for the fraud which will make the way of Shri Waghela smoother later on. It is also strange that on one hand the SP approaches revenue authorities for detaining the properties/assets of the defaulting official and on other hand the same officer exploits employees of PA/Supervisor cadre by pressurizing to credit all amounts of responsibility. How such double approach can be justified?
It has also come to our notice that there is suspected and spotty role of IP PG Bk dn in this case. He called official who worked as PM and asked him to prepare nominal roll of two years back on the spot. How that official can recall details of two year back for wanting entries in the Nominal roll? This wrong action can be proved if inquiry is held confidentially. The official can’t recall details of officials and branches of such a long period but the IP PG, under guidance of the SP, pressurized to temper with records by way of filling nominal roll of retrospective dates and put names of officials in such a way that punishment can be awarded to selected official and favorite officials can be saved. Staff side demands investigate in the matter.
It is also very unfair that the principle offender is serving at Palanpur HO itself without any kind of pressure and innocent officials are facing recovery. It will be required to work out exact amount of fraud and amount of claims sanctioned and amount recoverable from property of the official for which case is taken up with Collector.
It is also a very important matter that the SP had not taken up verification of past work of the fraudulent official at Shihori SO for two years long period after detection of fraud. This is very serious lacuna. More over all officials have been asked to credit penal interest also but that is because of delay by the SP Bk division in carrying our past work verification and now innocent employees are forced to suffer for the delay by payment of penal interest also.
Staff side puts following demands:
If at all there is fraud and loss to government, make efforts for recovery from the principle offender who is already in service and having big immovable properties and department has already taken up with the Collector.
Treat all letters cited above issued by SP Banaskantha division as cancelled and drop demand of deposit of amount.
If any staff is found guilty of action or at any fault, let concerned employee be given opportunity of representation. For this purpose, all details should be disclosed to concerned employee, his written statement should be recorded and then a decision about responsibility of any particular employee can be taken. This is the process required by the principle of natural justice.
Ensure that calculation of contributory responsibility includes administrative officers also and recalculate the same by fixing their responsibility.
Grant a special meeting with Hon.CPMG or Hon.DPS (HQ), to the effected staff headed by the Circle Secretary AIPE Union Group ‘C’ to hear so many unfolded facts and details of the case and hold healthy discussion to understand real background of this fraud case.
Urging immediate action and response in the matter,
With respectful regards,
Hon.Chief Postmaster General.
Gujarat Circle, Ahmedabad 380001
Hon. Director of Postal Services
HQ region, o/o The CPMG Gujarat Circle, Ahmedabad 380001
General Secretary AIPE Union Group ‘C’ (CHQ)
New Delhi 110001
-for immediately taking up the case at Directorate level for ensuring judicious approach to the effected staff.