Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

For reasons best known to himself Chief Minister Navin Patnaik is shying at the CBI in the matter of loot of the World Bank loan in Orissa Health System Development Project (OHSDP) perpetrated under the umbrella of his administration.

People of Orissa, without getting the expected benefit, will have to repay more than a thousand crores of Rupees including principal loan amount of around five hundred crores to the World Bank looted by individuals that have been enjoying as yet the patronization of his government.

From sources privy to records, we have posted how camera has caught the crime. When the crime of corruption has been committed and the cuprous delicti is in front, it astonishes that instead initiating criminal prosecution, the Chief Minister has opted for a Vigilance enquiry.

Orissa Vigilance is primarily meant to prevent corruption as provided for under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

When in the language of Orissa Vigilance “corruption” falls in a category that

“covers a wide variety of cases involving specific corrupt acts by public servants like showing favour to a particular party in award of contracts, purchase of items at higher rates, misappropriation of Government money by showing false or fabricated purchases, illegal appointments and show of favor in appointments, execution of substandard work etc. and causing any undue pecuniary advantage to any one, without any public interest”,

the word “prevention” is not defined under this Act. Therefore the dictionary meaning of prevention applies.

All English Dictionaries have defined it as “The act of preventing” and the word “Prevent” is given a definition that means, “(1) To keep from happening, as by some prior action; avert; thwart. (2) To keep (someone) from doing something; hinder; impede. (3) To anticipate or counter in advance; (4) to be an obstacle.

This makes it clear that the Vigilance organization is to “prevent” the “corrupt acts by public servants like showing favour to a particular party in award of contracts, purchase of items at higher rates, misappropriation of Government money by showing false or fabricated purchases, illegal appointments and show of favour in appointments, execution of substandard work etc. and causing any undue pecuniary advantage to any one, without any public interest” before they occur.

The corruption, in every aspect of its meaning ascribed to it by Vigilance, has occurred in the matter of OHSDP. It has occurred; because Orissa Vigilance has not acted to prevent it.

So, for this corruption, Orissa Vigilance is basically responsible and Chief Minister Navin Patnaik being the Minister-in-Charge and all the persons who have acted as Chief Secretary during this period, having Vigilance under their respective portfolios, under the Rules of Business are no less responsible.

Therefore vigilance enquiry into the unveiled corruption in OHSDP is a frustrating farce and fierce fraud being played on our people by the corrupt and crafty persons in power.

Over and above the unscrupulous traders and contractors, who have grabbed OHSDP work-orders and robbed the funds through corruption, there are three other individual and collective culprits in this case, who are: (1) Orissa Vigilance, for having failed to prevent corruption; (2) Chief Minister Navin Patnaik and (3) the catena of Chief Secretaries in incumbency during the relevant period for having failed to monitor the activities of Orissa Vigilance under their portfolios and for having failed to press it to prevent corruption before that crippled the OHSDP.

May it be repeated with emphasis that the crime of corruption has evidently been committed. It has been committed because it could not be prevented.

Therefore, what is essentially required now is unveiling of the criminal intent behind non-prevention of the crime.

The Vigilance organization shall never disclose the reason of non-prevention of the committed crime; because thereby it would be exposing its own mischief. Chief Minister Navin Patnaik as well as the Chief Secretaries of the concerned period will also not divulge the reason as to why they failed to press Vigilance to prevent corruption in OHSDP; because thereby their own cooperation with corruption would come on records.

The CM and CSs, if occasion arises, may try to trade that they were not directly directing the Vigilance organization and therefore they cannot say as to why that organization failed to take preventive steps against corruption in OHSDP. Therefore, it is only the Vigilance organization that can apprise us of why it could not discharge its legally binding duty to prevent corruption under OHSDP.

If it does not volunteer, it requires a Crime Branch (CB) action on Orissa Vigilance. But Mr. Gopal Nanda, who was heading Orissa Vigilance, is now heading Orissa Police.

It would have been proper if the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) were to conduct the enquiry. At least thereby a disinterested body could have conducted the investigation and the finding would have appeared unprejudiced. But the CM shying at it, the Crime Branch of Orissa Police is the only alternative body that that can investigate into the conduct of Vigilance and dig out its motive behind non-implementation of its responsibility to prevent corruption before it took place in OHSDP. In doing so the CB would have to investigate into the role of the present Police Chief who was heading the Vigilance at that time.

It does not look appropriate.

We cannot ignore the fact that it is a case of loot of hundreds of crores of Rupees that the State had obtained by way of loan from the WB that the people of Orissa are to repay. A pack of traders and contractors, with corrupt politico-bureaucratic officials at their beck and call, must not be allowed to cover up their crime against the people through farcical enquiries. They could never have succeeded in committing the crime had Orissa Vigilance been vigilant and not abandoned its basic duty to prevent it before it happened.

Therefore, CM Navin Patnaik should come out of his hoodwinking cocoon and refurbish his own credibility by invoking the help of CBI or the CB of any other State to find out as to why Orissa Vigilance failed to address itself to prevent the crime.

The crime has been unveiled. The criminal motive behind non-prevention of the crime before it took place needs be unveiled.

If the Chief Minister himself is not involved with this crime, he must help people know as to why Orissa Vigilance, running under him, could not “anticipate” the corruption; could not “thwart” the swindling; could not take any step to “keep” the crime “from happening”; could not “hinder” the swindlers; could not “counter” the loot “in advance” and could not be “an obstacle” to its perpetration. For this, if he is reluctant to engage the CBI lest it acts under influence of UPA run Central Government to his personal disadvantage, he should engage the CB of any NDA run State to enquire into the real reason of reluctance shown by Orissa Vigilance to prevent the loot of so massive amount of loan obtained from the World Bank, which the poor people of Orissa are now bound to repay sans any benefit.

And, the sooner he does it, the better.

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ORISSA MATTERS is based on the declaration of its founder Subhas Chandra Pattanayak that journalists would write, as the people have the right to be informed. Anybody/any institution affected by any writing may move online editor Saswat Pattanayak, who would arbitrate thereupon without any prejudice to the ultimate authority of the founder.

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