The CBI’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) office in Kolkata, which registered an FIR on October 17, has named the person in an annexure and identified him as ‘whistleblower’. An FIR, which is a public document, can be accessed by those accused of corruption, all of whom are ranked higher than the officer.
The FIR- a copy of which is with TOI- itself was registered based on a complaint from OFB chief vigilance officer Gautam Mandal, who looked into the matter before taking the case to the CBI.
While Mandal has named the whistleblower in his complaint, experts say CBI should have protected his and Mandal’s identity. The Central Vigilance Commission that oversees CBI also emphasises the need to protect the whistleblowers’ identity. “I do not have permission to speak with the media,” the whistleblower told TOI.
SC advocate KV Dhananjay said SC had come down heavily against naming whistleblowers in corruption cases. “In cases of corruption, the CBI would not be hindered in any manner if it does not name the whistleblower and complainant. The CBI must ensure adequate security protection to the complainant-whistleblower notwithstanding its own threat perception as it is plainly wrong on its part to have named him in this case. The FIR must be amended with the permission of the court,” he said.
According to Mandal’s complaint, “A case of deliberate misutilisation and mismanagement of Cash leading to cash defalcation of approximately Rs 1.7 crore by Madhusudan Mukherjee, the cashier, has been detected in the cash book of the Public Fund Account, RFI, during 2012-2016… Further cash to the tune of Rs 28.56 crore withdrawn from banks has not been entered in the cash book.”
The investigation found that cash was withdrawn from banks for paying the state (professional tax and recurring deposit) for which RFI had already issued cheques.
According to the complaint, there was mismanagement of around Rs 1.7 crore by the cashier of Rifle Factory Ishapore. Also, Rs 28 crore, withdrawn from banks, had not been entered in cash book.
The complaint points to a series of irregularities, which the CBI has found fit for investigation and booked a case under four sections of the IPC and two sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, according to PK Panigrahi, CBI superintendent of police, ACB-Kolkata.
Source : timesofindia