Former Army officers loot retired soldiers, exchequer under watch - The New Indian Express

Former Army officers loot retired soldiers, exchequer under watch

Published: 15th Sep 2013 08:09:11 AM

Already stung by scams in procurement of military hardware, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) now stares at the prospect of an over Rs 1,000-crore fraud in its retired personnel welfare organisation, where senior Major Generals have over the past eight years overseen the swindling of public money, all in the name of their resettlement measures.

The matter, which is already in the knowledge of the highest levels in the government, including Defence Minister A K Antony, is now going before the Delhi High Court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which is likely to explode on the face of the powers that be, as the affected parties are several lakhs of ex-servicemen and the taxpayers.

The PIL, filed by advocates Arvind Singh and Vipin Raghav, has been admitted by the Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Pradeep Nandrajog on September 4 and eight-week notices sent to the respondents, which include Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth and Defence Secretary R K Mathur, along with the Finance Secretary, Labour and Employment Secretary and the Director General Resettlement Major General Pramod Behl.

The scam relates to the resettlement schemes that the Directorate General of Resettlement had launched for ex-servicemen under which the retired officers were allowed to start and register their security agencies, coal loading and transportation agencies and national highway toll plaza management agencies and to recruit retired soldiers for their manpower requirements.

In what has come as a shocker, as per documents made available to The Sunday Standard, in the last eight years since 2005, the swindling of the retired soldiers’ money and the government exchequer has been carried out by some select retired officers, in obvious knowledge of the Directors General of Resettlement of the period.

The Directors General of Resettlement mentioned in the PIL include Major General V S Budhwar, Major General K S Sindhu, Major General Harwant Krishan and Major General S G Chatterji, who are all retired now, and have conveniently entered the coal loading and transportation scheme of the directorate that they headed previously.

The documents relating to the scams show serious malpractices and swindling of money belonging to the retired soldiers and the national exchequer by faking recruitment of ex-servicemen and collecting salaries in their names, but without employment in actual; forging documents to show deposits of provident fund contributions of each of their recruits, but in actual pocketing the amount; and preparing forged, fake challans of service tax deposits.

“My estimate is that the scam goes much beyond the eight years for which I have submitted documents to the court and the swindle is worth over Rs 1,000 crore minimum and may go up to Rs 5,000 crore according to estimates of some whistle-blowers,” advocate Arvind Singh, who has filed the PIL on behalf of the whistle-blowers, told The Sunday Standard.

Reading out from documents collected by the whistle-blowers and his team of independent investigators, Singh noted that the three businesses of security, coal and toll plaza were the most sought-after by retired officers, as the salaries fixed for the ex-servicemen recruits is at least three times what is received as remuneration by other individuals, these being unorganised sectors.

“The agencies are allowed a maximum of 300 ex-servicemen to work as security guards for a four-year period and their salaries have been fixed by the Directorate at Rs 25,000 a month. However, the agencies do not recruit the ex-servicemen and instead only produce a list of 300 of them to the public sector undertaking to raise salary bills. They recruit non-ex-servicemen instead and pay them salaries three times less and pocket the two-thirds amount,” Singh said. He also pointed out to several hundreds of fake Service Tax counterfoils of some of these agencies, apart from fake provident fund challans.

There were irregularities in the registration of about 3,000 security agencies by the Directorate, where it came to light during investigations that several retired officers had more than one agency registered in their names, whereas the rules allowed for only one. Also, there were several retired officers using the same registration number to avail benefits in different sectors, though the rules specify that they could do so only under one scheme of the Directorate (see box).

“Though there have been complaints in this regard with MoD, made by whistle-blowers in 2010, there has been no action taken till date and the fraudulent practices are continuing. A probe ordered in June 2011 has submitted its report, based on which only an office memorandum listing guidelines for working of these schemes were issued, but no punitive action taken in the last two years. That’s why we have filed this PIL,” Singh noted.

About 60,000 soldiers retire from the three armed forces annually and there are nearly five lakhs of them enrolled with the Directorate seeking an alternative employment post their retirement at a young age of 35-40 years.

-The Sunday Standard

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Comments(15)

Excellent coverage. The scam is much bigger and deep routed. The MoD does not wants it to see the light of he day. The Central Information Commissioner (former Additional Director and Special Director, CBI) had again requested the Secretary, MoD on 10.07.2012 to cause an enquiry relating to acceptance of forged documents by DGR, allocating multiple benefits, etc. But there appears to be no action till date. Its nice to hear that the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi has admitted the PIL, I am confident that the Court would refer the case to the CBI and as a result the jawans would get their legitimate dues including EPF & ESI and Government its due of Service Tax and Income Tax.

Great discovery! We all should raise eyebrows for all those retd ex-servicemen(JCOS/JAWANS) who have looted and made crores so many innocent for getting them enrolled as jawans through various rallies/BRO/ZRO/ARO with their liaision.These all have been running coaching centre in delhi ,NCR ,metro kolkata. Ratd jawans are millionaires now by making huge money for years on the pretext of providing coaching infact they must have been making money by looting innocent young poor people.i would like to mention about ex-servicemen from the corps of EME who was LRV driver retd in 1992 and is presently running a construction company,showrooms,big bungalows with most latest amenities which a retd General Officer can not afford to maintain. This retd jawan started coaching centre in Jeevan Park Chetak Coaching Centre in 1992 till date. Phool Singh Baghel A-2/169,Janakpuri who seems to made crores through coaching centre needs investigation for income proportinate to luxries from retirement .

Shocking to hear , people who has handsomely earned their livelihood while wearing their uniform still needs to do this type of heinous act ignoring the plight of their brothers who have left their job at an early age of 35 to 40 years when it really matters as far family responsibilities goes and seeking a alternate job to feed his family and children . Hope court to act fast and pass an order so that people should fear to do this again and again.

It is sad but True. What is really amazing is that 90% of the officers have sublet their contracts and civilian brokers/ *(read sub-contractors) are running the busuness paying a meagre 500 per mnth per gd.to the offr and to expect them to have any consideration for the jawans is futile. The MoD must rope in the Rajya Sainik Bds who are responsible for ESM welfare as well as the Sub Areas and Stn Hqs and come down heavily on the officers as well as the sub contractors. I have details of a lot of such contractors as well as offrs. The PSUs are equally to be blamed as sub contractors manage to bribe them and half the time the requisitions are not even sent to DGR but adjusted locally. DGR , less said the better.I have a case of a PSU sending a requisition in Dec 2012 and the DGR sponsoring it on 31 Jul 2013. Amazing for an Army offr managed Dept taking & mths to send the sponsor letter=== obviously the PSU will not wait as its assets have to be guarded. Am glad the issue is being o

Does the DGR have a efficient staff from the Defence Services or are they all Ministerial Staff ? Why expect sterling service from guys who are on a resettlement plan from Day One of their appointment ? We need to address the disease and not the symptom. The disease is half baked schemes and poorly rolled out programs of the Government. Why no e-governance and e-compliance in the past 20 years & why no monitoring, this is a deliberate Charade of ALL parties at the table and not necessarily the Army Officers alone !

how about all those jawans who have become crorepati by fooling and looting people from 1992 for getting them enrolled as jawans in defence forces taking huge amount from them. v all know no money floats in .why are we all scared to raise voice against all such coaching centre and their owners .Phool Singh Baghel(Ex-naik from Corps Of EME) of A-2/169 JanakPuri became a millionaire through Chetak Coaching Centre from 1992 with property worth crores in delhi. Should not we all raise our voice and request Govt to investigate his sources of income post retirement and establish whether he is or not involved in recruitments scams. Let this be another whistle blower. Seeing his family educational background and his sources of income from date of his retirement from where he made showrooms.bungalows and huge property on his family names.

MR. SHAILENDRA KUMAR, GAUTAM, AND OTHER GANG MEMBERS RUNS DGR SPONSORED SECURITY AGENCY OF MANY RETIRED DEFENSE OFFICERS, WHO HAVE SUBLET THEIR SECURITY AGENCY TO SHAILENDRA KUMAR AND HIS OTHER GANG MEMBERS,

Yes, true i have once met shailendra kumar singh(civilians mostly from Bihar) in his office located at west delhi in 2009, he promised that he will run my security and he said that he is already running more than 20 dgr security and many coal operation jobs and running tolls sponsored by DGR in 2008-2009 of the officers who have sublet these security, coal loading operations and tolls,I believe he has made undisclosed income of many crores all without having nothing in his name, many officers were caught in their nexus with shailendra and for not depositing taxes, epf esi of the security personnel. he is still operating in Delhi and still running sublet DGR securities unabated without any fear of law by making crores of rupees, tax evasion and making several crores of black money.

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