Friday, May 4, 2012

Who is the Godfather of BEML Chief?

India Today
Neck-deep in corruption charges, BEML chief now accused of fraud
BEML chairman and managing director V R S Natarajan, who is facing a plethora of corruption charges, has another problem on hands.
Natarajan allegedly committed a fraud by providing different addresses and mentioning his wrong age while registering residential plots in Bangalore and Mysore through the BEML Employees' Cooperative Society (BECS). Disgruntled members of the BECS now plan to approach the Registrar of Cooperative Societies with their complaint.
The plots were allotted to Natarajan by BEML allegedly in violation of cooperative sector rules. According to disgruntled members of the BECS, Natarajan allegedly pressurised the BECS office-bearers to allot him two plots, measuring 6000 square feet combined, in BEML Layout 6th Stage, Bangalore, during January 2005, for a sum of Rs.10 lakh.
The Bangalore plots, number 795 and 796, are valued at more than Rs.1 crore as per current market price. At the time of registering the plots, Natarajan had reportedly provided his residential address in Bangalore, which is his official quarter provided by BEML. He had also mentioned his age as 53 years.
 During March 2005, the BECS allotted another plot (No 91) at BEML Layout in Mysore. In the registration papers, he has given a Mysore residence address and mentioned his age as 52 years.
"The allotments were made hastily, resulting in a number of discrepancies. The rules are clear about possessing multiple residential plots. Besides, he has mentioned his age wrong. We will lodge a complaint against him with the Registrar of Cooperative Societies," sources in the BECS said.
The acquisition of the three plots by Natarajan is in direct violation of the rules laid down by the Karnataka government. Section 10 (a) of the model bye-laws for the house building cooperative societies, implemented by the Karnataka government in 1993, clearly states that any member of a housing co-operative society is eligible for a site only if "he/she does not already own a plot or house/flat/apartment in his/her own name, or in the name of any other member of his/her family in the corporation limits/development authority limits/municipal limits in whose limit the society is situated".
In addition, Natarajan had not completed the mandatory 5 years of service in BEML to become eligible for allotment of the plots. Natarajan had joined BEML in 2002, and by 2005, within a span of three years, the BECS allotted the three plots to him.
In addition to the alleged out-of-turn allotment of plots to Natarajan, another 60 plots were allotted in violation of rules by BECS. Three BEML employees -- C Umesh, Martin Luther and S Vishwanatha -- alleged that they were transferred from Bangalore to Kolar Gold Fields office after they formally complained to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies against the unauthorized allotments. Subsequently, the three employees approached the high court seeking relief.
However, BECS office-bearers defended the allotments to Natarajan, saying there was nothing illegal in the process. In a statement, the BECS said, "Top officials of BEML in the management and Board have been given sites under the five per cent discretionary quota. Associate members too have been given sites as associate membership is allowed under the law. We have allotted 8,000 sites in Bangalore so far and that includes sites to directors, and chairmen from 1972 onwards."
But people, who own plots in Bangalore, cannot acquire more even under the discretionary quota. Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Shivaraj Patil, had to quit as the Lokayukta of Karnataka after it was found that he was in possession of multiple residential plots in Bangalore.
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