In a rather embarrassing blooper, the government-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) sent a revenue recovery notice to the late president A P J Abdul Kalam for an outstanding telephone bill.
The notice dated November 18, 2015, advised the late President to opt for a one-time settlement to clear the long-pending due of Rs 1,029 (phone no 2724800) or face revenue recovery action. It also directed the Thiruvananthapuram region revenue recovery officer to seize his movable and unmovable properties if he failed to clear the bill.
The notice was signed by the Accounts Officer (TR-OSP), Trivandrum region.
Though it did not mention the bill period, the bill was generated for when Kalam was a guest at the Kerala Raj Bhawan for two days.
While in Thiruvananthapuram, Kalam habitually stayed at one of the suite rooms on the premises, even after he left office.
Late in the evening, BSNL released a statement saying the notice was sent to Raj Bhawan and not to Kalam. However it admitted that the late
President’s name was mentioned in the bill to explain the temporary connection was taken during his visit to the state capital.
“In 2010 during his visit to Thiruvananthapuram, Raj Bhawan has taken a temporary connection. For this telephone no. BSNL has issued a notice to Raj Bhawan to pay the outstanding as part of realization of dues,” the statement said, adding Raj Bhawan had cleared the dues on Dec 2. It also expressed regret over dragging Kalam’s name into the matter.