Corruption, Arrest & thereafter

Top postal officer, arrested for taking Rs. 2 – cr bribe, back with plum posting  – Former Chief Postmaster General of Maharashtra reinstated

November 8, 2011 – I came across the above headlines in the Mumbai Mirror today. After having served the Government of India for four decades, and observing how it, or rather those who subvert the entire system function, I was not surprised.

A high ranking officer, allegedly caught taking a bribe of Rs. 2 crores is back in his post after a 18 month deemed suspension. What is surprising is why and how ?

The same tabloid contains a news item that a bus conductor sacked for Rs. 119 gets his job back after 11 years. The charge against him was there was shortage of Rs. 119 in his cash. 

 The Facts

Back to our hero, Mahendra Singh Bali (59), a 1978-batch Indian Postal Service officer, then Chief Postmaster General of Maharashtra, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 25, 2010. for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 2 crores from a builder.

The CBI  took the action on the basis of complaint by Rita Shah, a former Mira-Bhayander corporator. According to the complaint, Bali had asked for the bribe to issue a No Objection Certificate for developing a 2,000-sq-mt plot in Mira Road, part of which was reserved for a post office.

According to reports, after Bali’s arrest last year, the CBI carried out searches of his office and residence in south Mumbai,  and found 34 lakh in Indian rupees, and foreign currency – $10,722, £3,050, 3,470 Euro – from four briefcases.
The CBI also seized laptops, and 45 bottles of imported liquor.

Further enquiries revealed that Bali owned several properties in Faridabad, Panchkula, Dwarka, Bhopal and Gurgaon. The CBI found that he had 22 bank accounts with a total balance of Rs 26 lakhs. The collective value of the properties is still to be evaluated.

Central Administrative Tribunal

Bali challenged his suspension before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Mumbai which ordered his reinstatement last week. On November 4, 2011, Bali  was reinstated as the Chief Postmaster General of West Bengal.

The reinstatement was ordered on a technical ground  –  violation of the central civil service rules. “This was a case of deemed suspension. In such cases, the suspension has to be reviewed in 90 days, and as this was not done, the initial order was rendered invalid before the law,”

The issue is not about Bali. Even though Bali is reinstated, proceedings and prosecution will continue.

What should be done

It is for the government, for the CBI and the CVC to find out who are the officers who did not follow the central civil service rules, who did not review the suspension in accordance with the law, and allowed the central administrative tribunal to pass the order it did.

Some one should find this out and take action against the concerned officers.
Otherwise, this sort of aberrations will continue….the guilty will continue to be back in their posts……….

Any one has any better suggestions ?

November 9, 2011

Someone in Delhi has read the news and the result….
Bali has again been suspended yesterday.

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