CVC asked to pay fine to whistleblower

Delay on part of the Commission cost IOC officer his promotions

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to pay a fine of Rs.52,000 to a whistleblower, a former employee of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) who had filed a complaint with the Commission accusing a general manager and others officers of the Corporation of indulging in corrupt practices way back in 1999.

Justice S. Muralidhar asked the CVC to pay Rs.22,000 for making a delay of 90 days in releasing a copy of a letter addressed to the IOC authorities asking them to release the blocked promotions of the whistleblower, M. K. Tyagi, and Rs.30,000 as the costs of his petition. The IOC had denied promotions to Mr. Tyagi after he filed the complaint.

The Court asked the CVC to pay the fine as the delay in making a copy of the letter available to Mr. Tyagi cost him his promotions. The letter was given to him only after he retired in 2005.

Mr. Tyagi brought the matter before the High Court when the Central Information Commission (CIC) made “undue” delay in disposing of his appeal against the Appellate Authority of the CVC that had failed to respond to his appeal against the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) who had refused to provide the complete set of papers regarding his complaint against the public sector oil company's officers.

At one point, the CPIO had offered to the petitioner to provide a copy of the inquiry report into the charges against the IOC officers provided he withdrew the appeal he had filed before the CIC.

Following the filing of the complaint, the IOC had transferred the petitioner, who was the Chief Sales Manager at that time in Mumbai, to Bangalore.

Charges sustainable

The Chief Vigilance Officer of the CVC in his inquiry had found the charges levelled against the IOC officers sustainable. The CVC had also advised the IOC to close the disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Tyagi.

Though the IOC closed the proceedings against Mr. Tyagi, it warned him not to disclose such corrupt practices in future.

As regard the General Manager, even after holding him guilty of the charges levelled against, it let him off with just a censure.

Justifying the imposition of the fine as well as the costs on the CVC, Justice Muralidhar said: “There can be no doubt that the delay in furnishing the information to the petitioner has caused him severe prejudice in as much as he was unable to seek restoration of his denied promotions prior to his retirement in December 2005.''

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