Plea seeking CBI probe into financial irregularities in FCI disposed of

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Apr 2018 10:36:07



Legal Correspondent

IN THE matter related to financial irregularities in Food Corporation of India (FCI) invited offers for sale of wheat from storage points situated within Madhya Pradesh, division bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla said “we have heard learned counsel for parties and find that no direction can be issued for CBI to take up the investigation when the CBI has examined the matter and has communicated that it is not worth for CBI to take up the matter further.

Whether such communication from CBI has emanated from communication of the Assistant General Manager or Chairman-cum-Managing Director, it is for the Corporation to fix responsibility of taking appropriate action if the action of the Assistant General Manager was not an authorised act on behalf of the Corporation. In fact, such communication dated on May 10, 2016, records stand of CBI only after discussions with General Manager (MP), FCI. But, as far as this court is concerned, communication from the Assistant General Manager of FCI, Regional Office, Bhopal is a valid communication on the basis of which CBI has communicated that it is not worth taking over the investigation.” Division bench added that ‘if the CMD or other senior functionaries of the Corporation find that there is misappropriation of public money, we have no doubt that the Authorities will take suitable action, as may be required in law, including initiation of criminal proceedings but there cannot be any mandate that for every wrongful loss there has to be criminal proceedings.
It is for the competent Authority to take a decision as may appear to be appropriate in the facts of the case. In view of the said fact, we do not find that any direction is required to be issued by this court for taking up investigation by CBI in the matter. Resultantly, the writ petition stands disposed of.’ Division bench of MPHC heard the petition filed by Mrigendra Singh against the Food Corporation of India and others.

The present petition in public interest has been filed alleging defalcation of public money and to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation to register a criminal case in the matter and to conduct and complete investigations.
The said prayer arises out of the fact that in 2012-13, FCI invited offers for sale of wheat from storage points situated within the State. Successful bidders were allotted stocks to be lifted from storage points of the Corporation and other State agencies. Tender in this regard was published on October 14, 2012.It is alleged by the petitioner that various bulk purchasers raised their bills directly to the Corporation claiming loading charges contrary to terms and conditions of the tender itself whereas, it was also found by officials of the Corporation that it has paid loading charges to its contractors for loading wheat deducting the charges from the wheat purchase bills raised by MP State Civil Supplies Corporation. Initially, a communication dated on July 30, 2014, was made bythe Area Manager of FCI, District Office, Bhopal, in respect of payment released to a Handling and Transport Contractor for Harda Centre. The petitioner also relies upon a report dated on August 4, 2014, conducted into method of payment. It is, thereafter, on September 10/12, 2014, the Executive Director (Vigilance) has submitted investigation report regarding irregularities in payment of handling charges for wheat sold under Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) in 2012-13. In pursuance of the decision, a communication dated on August 17, 2015, was addressed to the SP, CBI, Bhopal, to investigate the matter regarding multiple payments for the same work under District Office, Bhopal, and to lodge an FIR against erring persons for criminal proceedings. After exchange of some communications, CBI on August 5, 2016, communicated that the office of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has not taken up the matter for verification, enquiry since there was no loss to the Government exchequer and not worth for CBI to take up the matter further.