NMC’s shabby affairs: Recruitment scam files vanish into thin air!

NMC Nagpur

Nagpur: At a time when vociferous demand is being made for reinstatement of 17 sacked employees of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), a scam pertaining to recruitment of these employees in 1997 itself has come to light. The recruitment was done with glaring irregularities. But shockingly, the files regarding details of the irregularities have gone missing. The appalling revelation was made in the NMC reply to an RTI poser put up by former Corporator Raman Paigwar. Now, the State Information Commissioner (Nagpur) Dilip Dharurkar has directed the civic body to file an FIR with the police in this connection.

The RTI query submitted by Paigwar pertained to the file of criminal prosecution against 18 members of selection panel based on the inquiry committee report. He had also sought to know why only the then Recruitment Committee Chairman Kishore Dorle was prosecuted when other members of the committee were also found guilty. The query exposed the state of affairs in the NMC as the administration failed to furnish details sought by Paigwar, and instead, informed him that the files have gone missing. He then approached Dharurkar. On February 21, Dharurkar had directed NMC to either provide information sought by Paigwar or file an FIR.

“The Adtani inquiry report prepared in 2002 was available,” Paigwar said, and questioned how the action proposed on the findings of the inquiry report against the 18 selection committee members was not taken. So far, NMC babus have made no efforts to either trace the missing files or file a police complaint, admitted a senior civic official.

Notably, during the April 20 General Body Meeting of NMC, the proposal to reinstate the 17 employees — Subhash Ghate, Ramesh Bawankar, Ashok Deogade, Arun Khopde, Vijay Hatwar, Yusuf Yaqub, Deepak Potphode, Prakash Barde, Ganpat Barahate, Gangadhar Bhiwgade, Durga Tahliyani, Shalu Khopde, Ratnakar Dhote, Jeevak Shamkule, Vinayak Pendke, Suresh Barwe and Vinod Sonone (who passed away in 2015) – was approved. These employees were earlier dismissed for being appointed despite irregularities in recruitment process by the High Court. The inquiry conducted by then Additional Municipal Commissioner MM Adtani pointed out that the then Corporators Krishna Khopde and Nana Shamkule (both are now members of Legislative Assembly) had prima facie selected and appointed their relatives.

The Probe Committee had also found that around six officers (then acting Deputy Municipal Commissioner RZ Siddiqui, Municipal Secretary PB Tilgule, then Assistant Superintendent PN Ambhore, Acting Assistant Superintendent HD Londhe, Acting Assistant Superintendent AA Pipurde and Acting Superintendent G M Tembhekar) had alleged involvement in irregularities and dereliction of duty.

“But no stern action was initiated against the officials involved in the recruitment scam,” said Paigwar. In his report, Adtani had pointed out that it was the duty of these six senior NMC officials to point out irregularities to the Commissioner. He also listed other irregularities such as no signatures of Selection Committee members on the list of the recruited candidates barring the signature of then Mayor Kishore Dorle. The former Mayor was also booked under Section 397 of IPC and hearing against him was underway in the district court. The next hearing is scheduled on May 8.