The Bank of Maharashtra’s “comments” on The Hindu’s whistleblower story of June 13, 2013 (“To fix whistleblower, bank moves from verse to worse”).

In the first instance, we wish to sincerely clarify that Mr. Tuljapurkar is not a whistle-blower at all. The complaint made by him to the Governor, Reserve Bank of India, on the issue of the grant of a loan of Rs.150 crore to United Spirits Ltd. was based on information that was available in the bank and [was] not a matter of any discovery, as such being a routine business decision taken at the highest level by the Credit Approval Committee of the bank on merits […] We wish to specifically mention that the said account has been proved to be extremely healthy and remunerative to the bank […].

Scrutiny

We state there is nothing to be blown in the matter […] the bank is a public sector bank and is subject to several statutory and regulatory limitations and that every decision of the bank is subject to scrutiny at various levels […].

As regards the charge sheet issued to Mr. Tuljapurkar, the issue is not restricted only to the allegation that Mr. Tuljapurkar has caused a vulgar and indecent poem to be published in the union’s in-house magazine “Bulletin.” We wish to clarify that in the year 2013, the bank came across a reasoned judgment dated 20/01/2010 of the Hon’ble High Court, Bombay, Aurangabad bench, in criminal application number 2074/2002. It was held that the said poem about Mahatma Gandhi did not amount to a fair criticism and satire of Gandhian thoughts and ideas and that the poem published and circulated by Mr. Tuljapurkar was certainly obscene in nature. The Hon’ble High Court had directed Mr. Tuljapurkar to appear before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Latur, to face the trial launched against him […] the bank also came across the fact that Mr. Tuljapurkar had filed a special leave petition before the hon’ble Supreme Court no. 2871/2010 on the aforesaid judgment and the same [was] admitted and the Hon’ble Supreme Court has granted an interim stay on the proceedings against Mr. Tuljapurkar […]. The action has been initiated only when the bank came to know that a criminal trial was pending against Mr. Tuljapurkar and that he had concealed the said fact for 19 long years although he was an office bearer of the union, a workman director on the Board of Directors […].

We wish you to note that the performance of the bank for the financial year 2012-13 was held as extremely exemplary […].

The bank therefore requests you to dispel the impression created by Mr. Tuljapurkar […] and publish our clarification accordingly.

Alok Deshpande’s rejoinder

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