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Depression, vindication in fight for truth

“The humiliation and mental torture of being ostracised and having no work to do proved too much. I went into depression and had to be hospitalised,” said Tyagi. But this was not a man to be silenced ...

india Updated: Aug 18, 2008 02:06 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

In 1999, M.K. Tyagi, chief manager of Indian Oil Corporation in Bangalore, protested to his boss that a particular concession the latter had given an independent power producer was unwarranted, and would deprive the company of legitimate revenue. His boss, the general manager, assured him he would insert a clause into the contract by which the money would be recovered.

“It never was, so I wrote to his boss,” said Tyagi, 62, who spent his entire career at the IOC which he joined in 1968.

The super-boss appointed a three-member committee to look into the allegations. And who headed the committee? The GM. Not surprisingly, the committee achieved nothing. Instead Tyagi found himself transferred to Mumbai, in a position where he had no work to do.

“The humiliation and mental torture of being ostracised and having no work to do proved too much. I went into depression and had to be hospitalised,” said Tyagi.

But this was not a man to be silenced. He complained to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner. When the CVC sought an explanation, the IOC management rubbished Tyagi’s charges. But the CVC upheld them. It directed the IOC to drop the charge it had framed in the meantime against Tyagi, and start proceedings against the GM. But there was still no response.

“I feel my struggle was vindicated when the Petroleum Ministry wrote to the IOC chairman expressing ‘displeasure of government’ at the way it handled my complaint,” he said, adding: “If you are fighting for truth, you get strength automatically.”

If you know someone working towards upholding integrity in public life, nominate the person for the Manjunath Shanmugham Integrity Award. Visit www.manjunathshanmughamtrust.org for details, or SMS your address to +91 99105 25727 for the nomination form.