A suspended telephone operator of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has turned out to be a whistleblower, claiming he was compelled to give an expensive gift of gold coin worth `14,481, besides other expensive gifts like imported whiskies for not posting him out of place.
The suspended employee, Anil Grover, also attached the bill of the gold coin purchased for Shiv Kumar Sharma, a senior manager (personnel and administration), and also attached his audio conversation with him in which, Sharma talked about the gifts and other departmental favours.
Following the complaint, UT adviser Vijay Dev has marked an inquiry to the special secretary, vigilance.
More irregularities highlighted by Grover include installation of Airtel phones without inviting tenders and retaining of BSNL phones and an audit conducted by some private charted accountants (CAs) without even publishing an advertisement.
Also, the salary accounts of the staff were changed from a national bank to a private one which was allotted commercial kiosks at the five-star hotel Mount View without even charging fee, alleged the complainant, adding no quotations were invited before finalising the private bank.
The complainant alleged after less than two months of extorting `14,481, he was suspended on a minor issue. After that, he claims, he sent around 20 RTI queries to “expose the irregularities in the department”.
However, senior manager, personnel and administration, CITCO, Shiv Kumar Sharma denied knowing Grover. When asked that Grover had his audio recording and a bill as evidence, he feigned ignorance about the matter.
Meanwhile, general manager, finance and accounts, CITCO, Abhimanyu Thapar, said all norms had been followed and quotations were sent before finalising the installation of Airtel phones. The BSNL phones were retained - only incoming calls - owing to an old association of the firm.
He said, “The bank was changed as per the rules. The department used to get rent from the ATM kiosks allotted to the bank at Mount View. Though a private audit was conducted by CITCO, the UT audit department had conducted the final audit. Also, there was no need for an advertisement regarding hiring of the auditors, as they were hired at very nominal charges.”
On this, Grover said if there were no irregularities in the department, why the department did not give reply to his RTI queries. Meanwhile, CITCO managing director Kavita Singh said no complaint regarding any irregularity was received, and that it was surprising he didn’t come out with these revelations, if true, before his suspension.