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The sad case of whistleblower Ravinder Singal – an upright Panjab engineer #1

I have been sent a lot of information by Ravinder Singal, a whisleblower in the Irrigation Department in Panjab. He has agreed both that (a) the information be put out in the public domain (including names) and (b) that he alone is responsible for the accuracy and authenticity of the claims he has made. I do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of his claims, not having been privy to any of the relevant information.

[JPG copy of emails (page 1 | page 2) in which he has agreed that "You can use any of the names and affidavit and quote my name. You will be serving the Humanity, not only me, by the Grace of Almighty.”]

Ravinder Singh has been regularly corresponding with the senior-most levels in the government of Panjab. I’ve been persuaded that there is at least some merit in what he is saying.

And if his story is true, it is truly unfortunate – but merely (in my view) points to the well known fact that India’s ENTIRE BUREAUCRACY IS BADLY CORRUPT.

First of all, note that much of the information that I put out here was provided by him.

Now for the entire case, as I understand it. Everything begins with this affidavit.

AFFIDAVIT DATED 3 APRIL 1991 BY RAVINDER SINGAL

[T[The original affidavit dated 03/04/1991 was hand written on a non judicial paper and duly attested by a Notary as asked by Punjab Government on 16/11/1990. The typed version was made much later when Mr. Anupam Gupta, Counsel in Punjab and Haryana High Court, asked for a copy of it.]p>

AFFIDAVIT

I have reasons to believe and documentary proofs to prove the following allegations against Sh. Malkiat Singh X.E.N Canal Lining Division No. 2 Bhatinda.

  1. The over estimates for the work of lining of Arniwala Distributory from RD 18,500 to RD 23,000 were got framed by XEN Sh. Malkiat Singh from his SDO Sh. Amarjit Sharma [S[Sanjeev: Amarjit Sharma comes in one year later, to lodge a false FIR against Ravinder Singhal – see my next blog post]span>, JE Sh. Ram Lal Goyal & his other staff & were got sanctioned by him from Chief Engineer (Lining) Sh. HS Bedi. Subsequently, payments were made totalling for near about Rs. 30,00,000 on the basis of these estimates. I allege that the levels entered by Sh. Amarjit Sharma in his level book 45 page 42 — 49 for the purpose of framing these estimates are factitious & the levels were entered by him in his level book & X-sections attached with the estimates with the intention of benefiting the contractors. I was asked by him to copy these levels in my level book no. 16. I did not oblige him. The matter of factitious levels was brought to the knowledge of Superintending Engineer (my competent authority) Canal Linin Bathinda in writing on 18-10-90. Sh. Malkiat singh XEN hushed up the matters.
  2. The rates of bricks were revised for the Muktsar area in January 1990 & the lining of Arniwala Distributory started in Jan 1990. The bricks for lining were being carried to site at old & lower rates. After this raise in rates of bricks, payments at higher rates were made in the Division of Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN for the bricks already carried to site of work. Part of the excess payment to brick kiln owners was pocketed by Sarv Shri Malkiat Singh, Amarjit Sharma & Ram Lal Goyal. This matter was also brought to the knowledge of S.E. in writing on 18-10-90.
  3. Chief Engineer (lining) Sh. HS -Bedi inspected the lining of Arniwala Distributary on 6-7 Feb 1990. During inspection he noticed in the reach of Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN some factitious entries in tractor log books being maintained at site. Sh. HS Bedi brought it to the knowledge of Sh. Sohan Singh SE (retd.) & Sh Malkiat Singh XEN present there at site. Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN hushed up the matter as there was no follow up action either from SE or CE. These entries related to the working hours of the tractors never used at site.
  4. During inspection Sh.HS Bedi CE lining stayed at Gidderbaha rest house on intervening night of 6th & 7th Feb 1990. Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN had collected money from contractors working on Arniwala Distributory through SDO’s & JE’s of this division for hosting party that night to Sh. HS Bedi & other staff present there. Sh. HS Bedi refused to accept, at least on that day, anything other than simple meals. But the party, where the wine was served in abundance, was fully enjoyed by Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN, Sh. Amarjit Sharma SDO & Sh. Satpal Mittal ARO. Sh. Satpal Mittal was spotted singing songs in praise of Mother Goddess Sheran vvali in a drunkard state by an employee of the rest house.
  5. A fraudulent payment of Rs. 18,000 had been made in the Division of Sh Malkiat Singh by his favorite SDO Sh. Amarjit Sharma to Sh. Subhash Chander contractor for the Nivork of lining of Arniwala Distributory RD 22,500 to RD 23,000 in Feb 1990. The modus operandi had been that Sh. Kamah Sharma, Sub Divisional Clerk under Sh. Amarjit Sharma altered the figures of an item of the bill of the above work from 79,000+ to 97,000+. Before issuing cheque to the contractor, Sh. Amarjit Sharma SDO obtained in a very clever move through his SDC Sh Kamal Nabh Sharma, the signatures of Sh. Malkiat singh XEN and Sri Joginder Singh Accountant on the bill in MB and bill forms in token of pro-auditing.
  6. The cement in this Division was carried by trucks from Nirnbhera Raja than at very high rates than those prevailing in market at that time. A local firm MIS Aggarwal Cement Company carried the cement at about half the rates paid by this Division. The cement was carried in august 1998 & some payments were cleared by Sh. Malkiat singh XEN when he assumed the charge of Division in December 88
  7. That Sh. Satpal Mittal ARO had conducted an enquiry for alleged pilferage of cement from site & stores and also for some other irregularities made in this Division. The enquiry was entrusted to him in Feb 1990. More than a year has passed but he has yet to complete this enquiry & submit his findings. Sh. Satpal Mittal ARO has submitted to SE Sh. Sohan Singh(retd.) that Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN & Sh Aarjit Sharma were not providing him the necessary documents and thus making hindrances in his enquiry . These two officers along with Ram Lal Goyal JE are directly involved in pilferage of cement.
  8. Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN with help of some staff of Canal Lining Arrear Division Ludhiana removed measurement book no. 145/1540 from the records & tried to put the blame upon me through the XEN of that Division. Sh. Mahinder Singh XEN Canal Lining Arrear Division Ludhiana asked me to handover this MB wide his letter no. 1787/2-M dated 14-05-90 to SE Canal Lining Circle Bathinda. After this, my own XEN Sh. Malkiat Singh went on writing numerous letters to me on this topic. I suspect that the MB is with Sh. Malkiat Singh & he is not giving it to Sh Mahinder Singh XEN to malign me.
  9. Since Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN joined this Division i.e. Canal Lining Division No 2 Bathinda in Dec 1988, he has sanctioned estimates by splitting them into smaller estimates and thus bringing them in his sanctioning powers. The payments against these minor estimates roughly amount to Rs. 8 lakhs & major portion of these payment have been pocketed by him along with his SDO’s
  10. The original rates tended by successful renderer for the work of constructing Fall at RD 17,000 of Raunta Distributory in tender form no. 355 were changed twice. In 1st place tender form no, 355 was changed in the Divisional Office & second time the rate for an item was altered in the Circle Office. The fact of altering the rates was brought to the knowledge of concerned SDO & XEN Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN by me in writing on 19-02-90. The rate quoted by contractor was altered from Rs. 18.10 to Rs 48.10. The Superintendent of Circle Office Sh. Jaggan Nath Gupta and Accountant of the Division Sh. Joginder Singh are said to be behind the move of altering the rates & thus making excess payments to the contractor.
  11. Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN has amassed assets in his own name or in the name of his family members including his residence at 115-J Sharabha Nagar, Ludhiana which are disproportionate to his known sources of income. He cannot account for such disproportionate assets & pecuniary sources.
  12. Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN is due to retire on 30th June 1991 & Sh. Jagan Nath Gupta Superintendent mentioned in allegation 10 above on 30th April 1991 from Govt. Services
  13. Si. Malkiat Sirs XEN along with CE Lining Sh. HS Bedi has got me transferred mid-term, punitively and against the norms, to a faraway place Ranjit Sagar Darn, Shahpur Kandi Pathankot as a pre-emptive measure to prevent me from proving my allegations of corruptions and other mal-practices.
  14. The way I had been transferred on basis of a demi-official letter from Sh. HS Bedi CE lining and again the way my request for cancellation of my transfer has been rejected on 15th March 1991 clearly indicates that Sh. HS Bedi CE lining is also a party with Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN in these nefarious activities. Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN using Sh. HS Bedi CE lining as a tool has victimized at least two Sub-Divisional Officers & three JE’s of Canal lining Division no 2 Bathinda. Sh. HS Bedi playing to the whims of Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN has been ignoring even Superintending Engineer of Bathinda Lining Circle Sh. Sohan Singh who has now retired. It seems that Sh. HS Bedi CE Lining after having lived an honest life in the department has decided to make a fast buck in his retirement year even at the expense of carriers of his JE’s
  15. Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN has been misusing his official jeep since his assuming the charge of this Division and used to take it to his native place Ludhiana.
  16. Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN has removed from my service book some important annexure in a bid to harass me. Prior to this he had taken the service book to Ludhiana with a mala fide intention.
  17. During the works of lining of Arniwala Distributory Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN along with SDO Sh. Amarjit Sharma & JE Rain Lal Goyal mixed with brick kiln owners of Muktsar & its adjoining area & these three officers defrauded the department of huge amounts. In one such case they tried to defraud the department for an amount of Rs. 58,472/60, but after having been exposed by me they immediately secured undertakings from these BKO’s that they have not supplied bricks against this amount. My request to my competent authority for a full enquiry in this affair was rejected probably by CE lining Sh. HS Bedi.
  18. It’s a common knowledge with staff of Canal Lining Division No 2 that Sh. Malkiat Singh XEN had once claimed a factitious T.A. the exact date of this day is known to accountant of the Division as Tenders were opened on that day in the Division also.

Dated: 3-4-91

I’ll continue this case in the next blog post.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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