Sunday, October 21, 2012

Taxi, Cool Cab & Auto tariff cards issued by Mumbai RTO with effect of November 2012

We are here posting all taxi, cool cab and auto tariff cards, issued by Mumbai RTO with effect of November 2012. All Mumbai based taxi and auto users can use these cards of meter and fare to stop loot of taxi and auto drivers by suing fake meter cards. If you found someone is trying to charge you more using a fake tariff card, you can file a cheating and forgery complaint to police station too.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

STONEWALLED: Govt ignored plea to save 1,000cr in dam project

Mumbai: A survey contractor, Yash Engineers, wrote to the state government three years ago, suggesting that Rs 1,000 crore could be saved if the alignment of the left bank canal of the Lower Penganga irrigation project in Yavatmal district was altered. The contractor never received a reply from the government.

On Friday, TOI reported how the project cost was increased from Rs 1,402 crore to an astronomical Rs 9,027 crore in August 2009 when a revised administrative approval was given.The approval came from the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) and the contracts were awarded to politically connected contractors. The project was put on hold in the wake of opposition outcry and remainsso.

The survey contractor followed up the initial submission with a detailed memorandum to the state water resources department in February 2010, where it spoke of faults in the project and suggested ways to save cost .

“We wish to bring to your notice the lacunae and engineering blunders committed by the sanctioning authorities... This has led to a technically imperfect and very costly water conveyance system.” The contractor alleged that during survey, the executive engineer and other departmental officers did not allow it the minimum adequate time for performing “accurate and good quality work”. These officers allegedly pushed the contractor to make haste citing the election code of conduct. Yash Engineers’ memorandum said its alternate plan would reduce the costby about Rs 1,000 crore.

“Even under adverse circumstances, we deputed to the work site our expert surveyors and design engineers and produced technically sound proposals. But they were not considered by the department and they approved their own technical proposals, which are mostimproper,” said the letter.

The surveyor further said the canal crosses thePenganga river at a location where very expensive aqueduct is needed. “The cost of the aqueduct can be reduced from Rs 350 crore to Rs 125 crore by shifting its location from point D to point C,” it said.

Meanwhile, NCP MLC Sandeep Bajoriya on Friday admitted he received Rs 16 crore as advance for the Jigaon, Buldhana and Pedh iirrigation projects in Amravati. He was referring to a TOI report of October 4, which said that dam contractors received Rs 612 crore mobilisation advances from VIDC, defying rules.

Bajoriya said, “This (advance) was against due bank guarantee and with 13% interest levied on it. There is no wrongdoing involved.” He said he had returned the Jigaon project advance last April. “The Pedhi mobilization amount of Rs 7.5 crore given to me is already almost nullified against work done by me.” 

Nauzer K Bharucha TNN

ACB seeks nod to probe irrigation minister in irrigation scam

Mumbai: The Anti-Corruption Bureau has sought the state government’s okay to launch an “open inquiry” against irrigation minister Sunil Tatkare over allegations of land grab and disproportionate assets.

A “discreet inquiry” against the senior NCP leader, sources said, is already complete. The ACB now wants authorization for the second stage of the investigation—“open inquiry” —so that it can call for official files and, if required, summon Tatkare for questioning.
“We have forwarded the request to the general administration department. It will follow the usual course (to the concerned department and chief secretary) before landing up at the CM’s table for the final nod,” said a home official.

With the latest appeal, the pending ACB requests for investigating sitting ministers has risen to three.

Discreet inquiry against Congress min nearly over Mumbai: As the Anti-Corruption Bureau sought the state’s nod to probe Sunil Tatkare, the total tally of pending ACB requests for investigating sitting ministers rose to three. The bureau sought a goahead to probe public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal three months ago and medical education minister Vijaykumar Gavit three years ago.

ACB sources said the agency is about to complete a discreet inquiry against a fourth minister: a Congress leader facing allegations for his role in the Coalgate scam. “A requestfor a fourthopen inquiry will be forwarded to the state soon,” said an ACB official.

A close aide of former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Tatkare is accused of cornering 7,500 acres of farmland by creating front companies. He is accused of misusing his power and authority, as the statewater resources andirrigation minister, to grant arbitrary sanctions for irrigation projects. “I do not want to speak on the matter (either the inquiry or allegations) right now since it is in court,” Tatkare told TOI.

The request on Tatkare is bound to add to the worries of the government as it dithers on the previous two appeals. ACB sleuths said the prolonged official inaction shows lack of political will in the government. As it is, a sanction file needs to travel through a long, winding route—first through the home department to the general administration department to secretaries of the departments concerned to the chief secretary and finally to the chief minister. Worst of all, thereis noindependent mechanism to expedite or assist in the process.

“We expect the government’s nod to ideally come in less than two months, which is enough for the government to study a case properly. Beyond this, if the government takes time, it only shows a deliberate attempt to sit on the inquiry application,” said a senior ACB official.

The permission for a probe against Gavit, sources pointed out, is pending before the state since May 14, 2009. In the case of Bhujbal, the ACB filed the request letter on July 18, 2012, and it is said to have reached the chief minister’s table. “The departments (including the PWD, home and chief secretary) have given their view. It is now awaiting the CM’s green signal,” said an official.
Sunil Tatkare | The NCP leader faces allegations of land grab and disproportionate assets. The opposition says Tatkare and his family cornered 7,500 acres of farmland by creating front companies. The irrigation minister, he is also accused of granting arbitrary sanctions for irrigation projects

Vijaykumar Gavit | The state medical education minister is alleged to have amassed assets beyond his means of income. The properties were bought, it is claimed, in the name of his family members. The ACB sought permission for inquiry on May 14, 2009

Chhagan Bhujbal | The PWD minister is accused of receiving ‘favours’ when he gave out a contract for the construction of Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi. The ACB sought permission for an open inquiry on July 18, 2012

STEP BY STEP | Rules mandate that the ACB follow these steps while investigating a government official (class I) or minister

Discreet Inquiry | The ACB, upon receipt of a complaint or allegation, conducts a discreet inquiry. It verifies documents without informing the accused person or department. A decision is then taken on whether to further probe the case. All cases do not necessarily undergo a discreet inquiry

Open Inquiry | Once the discreet inquiry is over (or if it is eschewed), an open inquiry is set up. In this, files can be sought from a department and the accused persons asked to present their side. For officials, rules are clear. But for ministers, ambiguity persists on who takes a final call
Sanction For Prosecution | Once an open inquiry is okayed, the ACB can proceed with a full probe, registering an offence and filing of charges. But during this process, it needs a sanction for prosecution from the government

WINDING ROUTE | At present, the power to accord sanction for prosecution of a sitting minister lies only with the chief minister and the governor. A sanction file needs to travel first through the home department to the general administration department to secretaries of the departments concerned, to the chief secretary, and finally to the chief minister. There, however, exists no independent mechanism to assist the process.

Sharad Vyas TNN

DLF gave Vadra 500 crore property cheap: Kejriwal

Cong Rubbishes Charge, Says It’s Politically Driven

New Delhi: India Against Corruption (IAC) activists Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal on Friday alleged that realty giant DLF gave properties, currently valued at around Rs 500 crore, to Sonia Gandhi’s son-inlaw Robert Vadra at grossly undervalued rates in exchange for favours it allegedly received from Congress state governments in Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.

The allegations attracted a sharp response from Congress leaders who accused the activists of “blackmail” and claimed they were violating the basic principles of decency. The leaders sought to downplay these allegations, saying they were based on papers that have been in the public domain. They spoke of “teaching a lesson” to “irresponsible” activists.

Bhushan and Kejriwal, who launched a political party on Monday, told a crowded press conference here that five companies promoted by Robert Vadra and his mother, Maureen Vadra, with a combined share capital of Rs 50 lakh, and with no obvious revenue stream, acquired at least 31 properties in the three states between 2007 and 2010 after getting an unsecured, interest-free loan of Rs 65 crore from DLF. Priyanka Gandhi was also initially a director in the companies, but quit soon, they said.

They claimed the Vadras acquired all the properties—the 114-room Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in South Delhi, a penthouse in DLF Aralias and 7 flats in DLF Magnolia in Gurgaon, an apartment in Capital Greens, a plot in Greater Kailash-II and 20 plots of land spread over Haryana and Rajasthan.



5 companies owned by Robert Vadra and his mother Maureen bought 31 properties in 2007-10
These include 50% share in Hilton Hotel in Saket, Delhi for 31.7cr (current price said to be 150cr or more), 10,000 sq ft flat in DLF Aralias, Gurgaon, for 89 lakh (current price said to be 25cr), 7 flats in DLF Magnolia, Gurgaon, for 5.2cr (currently valued at over 100cr)

Balance sheets show these 5 firms had a total share capital of 50 lakh. Value of these properties on books was 69.64cr. Firms had no obvious revenue stream. Seed money for acquisitions came from unsecured, interest-free loan of over 65cr from DLF

Kejriwal and Bhushan claim that the worth of the properties when bought was 300cr; now over 500cr


This is blackmail…We will explore all options to teach these people a lesson. Everything was in the public domain. Don’t allow these people to destroy the fabric of decency — Salman Khurshid
A private citizen is only being targeted because of his relationship to Sonia Gandhi. This is below the belt —Jayanthi Natarajan

These transactions were done in conformity with the highest standards of ethics —DLF Documents from registrar of companies, says Bhushan

The activists distributed documents to buttress their claim that Robert and Maureen Vadra paid relatively small amounts for the properties. For instance, they paid Rs 32 crore for a 50% stake in Hilton Hotel, Saket, which they valued to be worth anything between Rs 150 and Rs 300 crore. For the DLF Aralias penthouse, allegedly worth in the region of Rs 25-40 crore, they paid Rs 89 lakh.

“Why would DLF first give an unsecured interestfree loan to Vadras and then sell its properties at throwaway prices to them?” wondered Bhushan.

The reaction of the Congress was ferocious, with the party scrambling to wheel out its heavy artillery. A battery of Union ministers, including I&B minister Ambika Soni, law minister Salman Khurshid, environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan and minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla, along with party spokespersons, came out to defend Vadra. They dubbed the allegations mischievous and motivated, questioned the competence of the activists to level charges and suggested that the timing of the allegation was chosen to hurt the Congress in the Gujarat elections.

The Haryana and Delhi governments promptly denied any wrongdoings. Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, “We did not give any concession to anyone. We did not allot even a single inch of land to anyone. I had asked officials to do everything in a transparent manner and in the interest of the state.” DLF, too, came out with a statement to stress that the transactions were in accordance with the “highest standards of ethics”.

Citing favours that the DLF has received from Congress governments, Bhushan and Kejriwal pointed out that the DLF Magnolia complex was built on 350 acres of land in Gurgaon which was acquired by the Congress’s Haryana government for “public purpose” but was transferred to the real estate company. “Villagers from whom the land was taken were told that the acquisition was for setting up an industry,” they said.

When asked how the allegations concerned the Congress, Prashant Bhushan said, “The land acquisition has been done in Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana…all led by Congress governments…and we know who the leader of the Congress is.” He also promised to make more disclosures on the matter, stressing that the documents he has submitted were from the Registrar of Companies.

Demanding an independent investigation into the sources of funding, Bhushan and Kejriwal said the whole business smacked of a quid pro quo. They said that only an independent probe would serve the purpose as none of the government agencies, the CBI or the Income Tax department, could probe Vadra, whom they described as the “sarkari damad”.








Robert Vadra TO ECONOMIC TIMES ON MARCH 14, 2011



पीएसीएल का 7000 करोड़ का घोटाला - भाग 3

पीएसीएल के घोटालों के सिलसिले में स्कैम्सलीक की जांच का दायरा और आगे बढ़ाते हुए हम चलते हैं इस घोटाले की एक और परत खोलने के लिए।

स्कैम्सलीक की जांच में सामने आया है कि यह कंपनी खुद ही झूठ बोलती है। कंपनी के दस्तावेजों की पड़ताल में सामने आया है कि 26 मार्च 2012 को जारी पीएसीएल के सीए की रपट के मुताबिक कंपनी का दावा है कि उसके पास पूरे देश में 44 लाख प्रतिनिधि हैं जो उसके लिए काम करते हैं।

सवाल यह उठता है कि आखिरकार एक कंपनी को इतने प्रतिनिधियों की जरूरत ही आखिरकार क्यों पड़ती है। एलआईसी जैसी विशाल कंपनी पास भी इतनी ब़ड़ी तादाद में एजंटों की फौज नहीं है, जबकि वह तो सीधे तौर पर बीमा बेचने के कारोबार में है। कंपनी यह भी दावा करती है कि उसके पास कुल 444 लाख भूखंडधारक हैं। कंपनी का दस्तावेज यह भी दावा करता है कि उसके पास पूरे देश में कुल 4 लाख एकड़ जमीन है।

आरोपी कंपनी का यह भी दावा है कि वो अपने भूखंडधारकों को कम से कम 150 वर्ग गज का भूखंड बेचती है।

सवाल उठता है कि जब यह कंपनी भूखंड बेचती है तो फिर उसके पास भूखंड इतनी बड़ी मात्रा में कैसे आते हैं। यदि वह भूखंड नहीं बेचती है, और उसके नाम पर बस लोगों के पैसे अपने पास रख कर कुछ समय बाद बढ़ी रकम वापस करती है तो यह एक तरह से एफडी ही हो गई, और सेबी के नियमों से खुद को बचाने के लिए कंपनी भूखंड बेचने का ढोंग करती है।

पीएसीएल का झूठ कैसे पकड़ में आता है, यह आपको इसी से समझ आ जाएगा कि कंपनी के दावे के मुताबिक 150 वर्ग गज के भूखंड अपने भूखंडधारकों को देने की बात करती है तो 444 लाख लोगों को देने के लिए कुल मिला कर उसके पास 666 करोड़ वर्ग गज जमीन होनी चाहिए। याने कि 1,37,60.438.08 एकड़ जमीन की मिल्कियत होनी चाहिए। 31 मार्च 2010 तक कंपनी के दस्तावेजों के मुताबिक कुल 68.90 करोड़ वर्ग गज जमीन ही उसके लैंड बैंक का हिस्सा थी। इस तरह कंपनी का यह दावा भी कई सवाल खड़े करता है।

Monday, October 1, 2012

Duty Evasion Scam: Six firms guilty of export fraud fined 148 crore

Mumbai: The Customs department recently imposed a collective fine of Rs 148 crore on six companies, four central excise employees and a chartered accountant in a case involving fraudulent claim of export incentives. The department has also sought Rs 44 crore for evasion of duty.

A government scheme allowed companies to import raw materials duty-free, provided they export the finished goods. In this case, Shalimar Rexine imported raw material without paying any duty for manufacturing PVC leather, but sold it in the market here.

Additional commissioner of customs Nasim Arshi, in his adjudication order, said, “Supreme Rexine Industries Ltd, Sunrise Exim and Supreme Import and Export were inter-related firms formed with the aim to import raw material by availing exemption from duty and then exporting cheaper quality of PVC leather cloth. This was re-imported and again exported to show artificial discharge of export obligation.’’

Afzal Khan, Yunus Khan, Firoz Khan, directors or owners of Supreme Rexine, Sunrise Exim and Crescent Overseas, plotted the entire fraudulent operation to hoodwink the department of Rs 220 crore.

The case dates back to September 2005, when Customs officials at Nhava Sheva examined Shalimar Rexine’s export consignment and found difference in the weight of the PVC leather cloth. Customs investigations found that Supreme re-imported some of the consignments sent to Dubai and abandoned them after the investigations started. It was also found that Dubai port authorities had blacklisted Shalimar Rexine and auctioned some of the consignments.

Firoz Khan created Crescent to facilitate some of the re-imports which were exported, the adjudication order said. Sunrise was also created as part of the modus operandi. Customs also imposed a fine on three other companies who participated in the fraud.

All those who were found guilty denied the charges before Nasim Arshi. The officials were fined Rs 50,000 each for not following due diligence in the clearance of goods. The Khans and the three companies where they had interests were collectively fined Rs 147 crore. Chartered Accountant Lalit Thakkar was fined Rs 10 lakh. He was fined for issuing certificates confirming export figures which were not genuine. Shalimar Rexine had admitted to Rs 30 crore liability before the settlement commission but did not pay up, officials said.

C Unnikrishnan TNN

Congress MLA KripaShankar Singh not grilled despite FIR in Scams

Mumbai: Activist Sanjay Tiwari has complained to the state police chief that former Congress city chief Kripashankar Singh has still not been interrogated despite an FIR filed against him. Tiwari’s PIL seeking a probe into the disproportionate assets of Singh was converted into an FIR by the Bombay high court early this year.

He said custodial interrogation is necessary to find out about the politician’s assets. The high court had directed the police to treat Tiwari’s petition as an FIR. The PIL questioned the wealth illegally amassed by Singh, his wife Malti Devi, son Narendra Mohan and daughter Sunita, son-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Their wealth allegedly exceeded Rs 350 crore. The court, after going through sealed copies of ACB reports, had even directed then police chief Arup Patnaik to personally head the special investigation team after going through reports submitted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau against Singh.

The police registered an FIR on February 28 under IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act and the Supreme Court has given the SIT time till October-end to complete the probe under supervision of new police chief Satyapal Singh.

The SIT has so far submitted two sealed reports to the SC on the probe. Tiwari’s counsel Ram Jethmalani had argued that the probe has been going on for the last two years, yet its progress remains unknown as reports have been confidential.

Last week, Tiwari wrote to the new police chief saying, “Neither Singh nor his relatives have been called for questioning.” No member of the Singh family has been arrested, nor has Kripashankar or his family sought anticipatory bail, Tiwari said, adding “two FIRs are already lodged and in the ordinary course any person in his place would have been arrested.” He said new facts had emerged since the FIR was lodged and said there was a likelihood that some family members may leave the country and it was important to impound their passports. Kripashankar’s counsel Mukul Rohtagi said he was abroad and unable to talk.

Kripashankar said since his “SLP was pending before the SC, it will not be proper for me to make any comment.”

Swati Deshpande TNN

MAHARASHTRA IRRIGATION SCAM: BJP MP’s co got 1,350cr dam deals illegally

Firm Was Also Given Advances Against Rules
Mumbai: A non-existing company owned by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Sancheti bagged irrigation projects worth Rs 1,350 crore in Maharashtra in 2007-08.

The firm, Shakti Kumar M Sancheti Ltd, was renamed SMS Infrastructure in November 2005. Yet, Sancheti was awarded contracts by the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) under the name of the old company. “Once the name of a company is changed, the old name ceases to exist and the new name comes into existence. The Sancheti group used the old name as well as the new
name concurrently to obtain more contracts than permitted,’’ said officials. Government sources said VIDC’s norms permitted a maximum of three contracts to a single contractor. Its tender condition clearly stipulated that in case of violation, the contractor would be blacklisted.

Sancheti is a close aide of BJP president Nitin Gadkari and his family has RSS links for the last three generations. His uncle, Chainsukh Sancheti, is the BJP MLA from Buldhana district.

Documents accessed by TOI reveal that the now defunct firm (Shakti Kumar) went on to bag four contracts; two in Gosikhurd in Bhandara district, one in Amravati district and another in Yavatmal district collectively worth Rs 1,350 crore. (VIDC later cancelled one of the tenders because it was awarded at an exorbitant rate.)

Simultaneously, SMS Infrastructure also procured projects worth an additional Rs 389 crore between 2006 and 2009.

Sancheti was not available for comment despite several attempt.


In a series of reports starting April 25, TOI exposed the politician-official-contractor nexus in irrigation projects that is bleeding the state dry. Last Tuesday, deputy chief minister and former water resources minister Ajit Pawar resigned over the allegations. On Sunday, in his first public appearance after quitting the government, he claimed in Akola that he was the victim of a conspiracy to malign him and that it was a tactic to deflect attention from the Coalgate controversy.

Advance paid as ‘special case’ to Sancheti firms

Mumbai: Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation’s (VIDC) benevolence towards BJP MP Ajay Sancheti went beyond giving illegal contracts to his company. The contractor received a mobilization advance of Rs 121 crore despite various government circulars which prohibited such advances. These circulars were later scrapped by the then water resources minister Ajit Pawar in 2008.

Interestingly, resolutions signed by Pawar and VIDC executive director D P Shirke stated that the advance was paid to Sancheti’s two firms as a special case. Strangely, the resolution also said that there was no provision in the tender for such advance payment. These resolutions were not signed by the secretary of water resources department, who is the ex-officio managing director of VIDC.

TOI has also learned that in 2010, the VIDC’s governing council stayed the rule granting three works per contractor. In March, the central water commission chairman, R C Jha, visited the Gosikhurd project and observed that the right bank main canal being executed by Sancheti had either collapsed or tilted by nine metres at various spots. But VIDC engineers defended the work, stating that this was due to geological conditions. Sancheti’s SMS Infrastructure claims to be one of the largest infrastructure companies in Central India with an employee base of over 1,300 people and a turnover of around Rs 1,100 crore.


In November 2011, two MPs wrote to Union water resources minister Pawan Kumar Bansal about the unusual increase in the cost of the Purna barrage-2 (Ner Dhamana) irrigation project.

The work was awarded to Sancheti. BJP’s Haribhau Jawale and Shiv Sena’s Nandrao Adul complained that its cost had shot up from 182 crore to 638 crore.

“The design finalization was done way ahead after the tender was awarded. This resulted in excess expenditure by more than three times,’’ said Jawale’s letter.

He further said that the original 2008 administrative approval was obtained without following due procedure. “If tender had been awarded post-finalization of design, it would have saved a lot of money and resources.

As a result, cost of irrigating the land is estimated at 9.19 lakh a hectare whereas the normal cost is around 2 lakh a hectare,’’ he added.

The Centre had imposed a condition that the project be completed within the sanctioned amount. “However, reality seems to be far different as the project cost is revised drastically.

Definitely, there seems to major manipulation causing undue benefit to certain vested interests,’’ said Jawale. He urged the minister not to sanction the revised estimate as it was an “unrealistic’’ one.

Nauzer K Bharucha TNN