Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Lala Lajpat Rai’s New Delhi based Servants of the People Society (SoPS) having seized the Samaja newspaper by using a forged WILL of one of its founders Pandit Gopabandhu Das, has unleashed a reign of loot of the money that belongs to the people of Orissa, a glimpse of which forms the crux of this presentation.
It has an advertisement manager in the newspaper ‘Samaja” whose name is Priyabrata Mohanty. He is so close to the boss of SoPS that he occupies the General Manager chair, as and when possible, to create panic amongst the employees of Samaja by posing as its employer. Some of his such actions are questioned in the Labor Law forum.
We would come to that on a different day. But now, how this man is involved with money swindling by misusing his ad manager position would be focused upon, as an instance of corrupt practices going on in Samaja newspaper.
We have shown earlier in these pages that the miscreants that have seized the paper have been enjoying their clout with Orissa’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. This is giving them a congenial environment to loot the Samaja.
Nexus with the CM
helps them carry out corruption
Because the officers in the fields and various institutional heads know of the nexus of these swindlers with the Chief Minister, they do not dare to say ‘no’ to whatever these fellows ask them to do.
Mark the above picture. It is the photocopy of a cheque that was issued by the DRDA office, Bhadrak, in favor of the Samaja, Balasore, on 23.3.2011 towards payment against an advertisement bill. After a complete year, the said cheque was cancelled by the Project Director – by then a new incumbent as discernible in the body of the cancelled cheque – and a new cheque bearing No. 060616 was issued as per order dated 19.4.2012, relevant portion of which is given here.The order reads: “The ch. No – 026834 for Rs.21,384/- in favour of Samaja, Balasore may be cancelled and a fresh cheque – 060616 for Rs. 21,384 may be issued in favour (of) Sri Pramod Ray, District Correspondent, Samaj”, And the money was thus paid to Pramod Ray vide Voucher No.11, dated 19.4.2012.
Replacing the cheque originally given in favor of the Samaja by canceling the same on production by a reporter of the paper after lapse a complete financial year with another cheque given to the said reporter by his name by the Project Director of the District is blatantly illegal. The Project Director is a senior officer of the State and by virtue of his qualification and long experience as an administrative officer, he knows that such a step was not legal. Yet he did it on the same day the reporter wanted such a favor, because he knew of the nexus of the swindlers’ network with the Chief Minister of the State. The money that should have gone to the Samaja accounts, went to the private account of its reporter Pramod Ray.
Once this trick clicked, the Ad Manager Priyabrata Mohanty combined with Ray to divert Samaja ad dues to his personal accounts by generating advices to the advertisers to pay against the bills through Bank Drafts favoring Ray only. The picture on the margin vouches for this subterfuge.
And the money swindled through this arrangement is monstrous.
Advertisement Bill No. SCA/12-2013/5901 dated 06/07/12 is just an instance.
It was issued by Mohanty against an all edition BW Ad of Bhadrak Institute of Engineering and Technology, Barapada, Bhadrak that consumed 96 sq.cm of the paper on July 6, 2012. The bill amount was Rs.86,400.00 with a special discount of Rs. 3000.00, thus totaling Rs. 83, 400.00. The institute was asked by Mohanty to pay for the bill by issuing the bank draft in favor of Ray only. When the bill was legally required to be paid to the Samaja accounts, why the Ad manager diverted it to the personal account of Ray? We searched for the modus operandi behind this arrangement, and we were shocked to see that the sole purpose of this arrangement was misappropriation of at least Rs. 43,560.00 out of this bill. The legitimate bill, at the rate of Rs.415/- per sq.cm as per the tariff rate of 2012-13, should have been Rs.39,840.00; not 86,400.00 or Rs. 83,400.00 after special discount. If anything, therefore, it was a misappropriation of Rs. 43,560.00, which could not have materialized had payment cheque been issued in favor of the Samaja. Obviously Mohanty and Roy have shared the loot. The man of Mohanty, who prepared the bill might have also been tipped a bit to keep the swindling secret.
Another instance shows that the corrupt practice is going on continuously.
The same man that had prepared the above cited bill dated July 6, 2012, has prepared this Bill too and Mohanty as Ad Manager has issued it.
It amounts to Rs.3,25,780.00 and claims Rs.2, 99, 780.00 after special discount of Rs.26,000.00 charging the same Institute – Bhadrak Institute of Engineering and Technology, for a display in color consuming 360 sq.cm. on June 3, 2013.
As per the paper’s Tariff rate for 2013-14, the legitimate bill amount should have been Rs.1,78,200.00 only, not Rs.3,25,780.00. So, here also, in terms of the net claim after discount, there is a clear possibility of misappropriation of Rs. 1,21,580.00 by the Mohanty Ray combine.
Yet another instance
The illicit nexus with the Chief Minister well-known to government servants, the Special Officer cum Sub-Collector, Bhadrak was also asked by Mohanty to pay against Bill No. SCA/13-2014/2469 of 23/05/13 by A/C Payee Bank draft favoring Ray. The said Sub-Collector could not dare to question as to why the payment should be made to Ray in stead of the Samaja, when it was a bill against advertisement published in that paper.
More harmful than this
We shudder when we feel that there is a process in practice in the Samaja which is more harmful than this syndrome of misappropriation. And, that is: False Advertisement Bills.
The highly inflated bills must be fake bills with the numbers and dates of the genuine bills against which payments must be being taken to Samaja records to hoodwink the audit as and when conducted or normal eyes of the auxiliary staff in the ad wing or vigilant eyes of the employees association. It prods us to apprehend that Priyabrata Mohanty within full knowledge of the fellows of SoPS that have seized the Samaja, has been running a parallel economy in the organization to exploit the impact of the paper for his personal monetary benefit, as his controlling bosses – members of SoPS – who themselves are involved with rabid misappropriation of Samaja funds – are also his patrons and protectors.
People of Orissa, out of their everlasting love for Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das have contributed their might to evolution of the Samaja to such a stature that it stands synonym to newspapers as a whole. The fellows who have been swindling money in its name, have infested it with right-reactionary conservatism and nefarious corruptions.
It is natural, therefore, for the right thinking people of Orissa to start social audit on its activities. We are glad that our step is pioneering in this regard.