KOCHI: Though the probe into irregularities in the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT) gypsum deal was completed over a year ago by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the legal proceedings have reached a deadend, with the agency yet to receive sanction to file a chargesheet against accused persons.
The delay has affected the case, following which the CBI approached the Chief Vigilance Commission (CVC) against the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers, accusing it of delaying the sanction. It was in October 2016 a case was registered against FACT officials for selling gypsum, a fertiliser byproduct manufactured by FACT, to private companies. Former FACT chief managing director Jaiveer Srivastava, chief general manager (CGM) Srinath Kammath; CGM Ambika I S; CGM Panchan Poddar; deputy general manager Daniel Madhukar; NSS Trade India Private Ltd head Santhosh Shetty and Nagarjuna Chemicals Private Ltd MD Mukund Maheswari were arraigned in the case.
“The chargesheet was sent to the CBI headquarters last year. However, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers did not give us the sanction required to file a chargesheet. We approached CVC which gave a directive in our favour. We expect to receive a green signal from the headquarter soon,” an officer with the CBI said.
The internal inquiry against former FACT chief managing director Jaiveer Srivastava is delaying the move. “As the accused is an officer of joint secretary rank, the inquiry against him should be conducted by an officer of managing director level. The internal inquiry against other FACT employees have been completed and the report has been sent to the ministry,” said officials.
The delay is evident as two CBI investigation officers, who were part of the probe, have retired from service now. The graft was brought to light after FACT allegedly agreed for a gypsum deal with a Hyderabad-based private firm. As per norms, the procured gypsum should be sold only to cement companies and not be given away as fertiliser or soil conditioner. Also, the lid was blown off when the gypsum sold usually to cement manufacturing companies for `600 to `1,200 a tonne was allegedly given to the Hyderabad-based firm at `130 per tonne.