Top Gujarat PSU fails to find irregularities against “rough-and-tough” non-IAS babu, compensates

CV News/ Sunday, March 10, 2019

The three-year old tug-of-war between AK Vijay Kumar, a non-IAS babu known for his rough-and-tough ways, and Atanu Chakraborty, a Gujarat cadre industry-friendly IAS bureaucrat, has come to an end following intervention by Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh and two other bureaucrats.
Kumar, who previously served the now defunct PSU Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) is currently special officer, industries, Government of Kerala, and official on special duty, investment promotion, Government of Andhra Pradesh on a “pro-bono basis” in Delhi. Chakroborty, ex-MD, GSPC, a former boss of Kumar, is secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Government of India.
Things heated up in 2015-16, say sources, after Chakraborty “compulsorily” retired Kumar from GSPC on the basis of a five month discrepancy over the latter’s birth date. This was “backed up” with an FIR filed with the Gandhinagar police accusing Kumar of “irregularities” worth Rs 5.33 lakh for purchase of food and miscellaneous office expenses spread over five years at the GSPC’s Delhi office, where Kumar had represented the PSU.
Asserting that it was meant to settle scores over a scuffle dating back to 1997, Kumar went to the Gujarat High Court to quash the FIR. Claiming the FIR was filed on the basis of a private audit and CAG didn’t find anything irregular, Kumar’s petition said, “The complainant had directly approached the local district police in furtherance of mala fide intentions to harass the petitioners by implicating them in a criminal offence.”
Meanwhile, an additional DG-level topcop was resportedly sent to the village where Kumar was born to ascertain his “exact” birth date.
Known for his excellent rapport with top officials when Narendra Modi was Gujarat chief minister, “helping” him become the first non-IAS official from the corporate sector to become special investment commissioner of the Gujarat government in 2011, Kumar has now got a major reprieve.
The state government accepted his version of birth date, paying him five months’ salary. The FIR, which was transferred to CID crime, has been quashed following submission of “A summary” report to the court, as “no evidence” was found against Kumar. The court cases have been also withdrawn.
The settlement, say sources, has been reached at the intervention of JN Singh, Gujarat chief secretary, who also happens to be chairman, GSPC, MM Srivastava, former additional chief secretary, finance, currently serving as chairman, Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (a GSPC subsidiary), and T Natarajan, MD, GSPC.