‘Dumper scam’resurfaces to haunt MP chief minister
Posted December 8, 2010on:
The dumper scam involving Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and his wife Sadhna Singh has surfaced vigorously after over two years. It has been used effectively by the Congress legislators to stall the Assembly proceedings, as the BJP-led Opposition has been stalling the proceedings in Parliament over its demand for constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to go into the G-2 Spectrum scam. Unlike the presiding officers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Assembly Speaker Ishwardas Rohani cut short the session after four days and adjourned the House sine die; Chauhan was finding it a bit too embarrassing to hear the chants of corruption charges against himself and his wife day after day.
However, the Congress, having stirred out of slumber after a long time, did not give up its demand for a CBI probe in the dumper scam with the adjournment of the Assembly session.
The dumper scam has made Madhya Pradesh a State with a distinction as Shivraj Singh Chauhan is the only chief minister in the country against whom there is an FIR in a corruption case. (Incidentally, Madhya Pradesh had achieved another distinction when one of its ministers, Tukojirao Puar, had to spend a few days in police custody in a criminal case two years ago). Besides, the dumper scam has seen two former Supreme Court judges, holding the office of Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta, compromise their integrity.
Special judge R.K.Bhave directed the Lokayukta Organisation on November 13, 2007 to register an FIR and investigate the alleged scam. Lokayukta Ripu Sudan Dayal displayed his sleight of hand there also. On his direction, a deputy superintendent of police in the Lokayukta Organisation was made the complainant in the FIR, and not Ramesh Sahu, though the court directive was issued on Sahu’s complaint. Sahu’s name was entered as only a witness. That changed the whole complexion of the investigation. As the complainant, Ramesh Sahu would have been associated with the investigation; not so as a witness.
Dayal left Madhya Pradesh in disgrace on completing his term last year, with a case of corruption pending against him in a Bhopal court. Prakash Prabhakar Naolekar, who succeeded Dayal as the Lokayukta, has been exerting his legal brains to find a way as to how to scuttle the dumper scam case without inviting much criticism.
From the documents attached to the petition, it would appear as if Shivraj Singh Chauhan had entered the office of chief minister with the sole aim of putting the public resources at the disposal of his favourite industrialists for, of course, reciprocal considerations. He had started doling out mining leases in Rewa district, in flagrant violation of the law, to JP Associates which has a cement factory in the district and the JP Group financed four heavy vehicles, got them registered in the name of Chauhan’s wife Sadhna Singh and took those vehicles from her on lease. The dates of these transactions are significant.
Chauhan became chief minister on November 29, 2005. On December 12, his government issued an order allotting to JP Associates prospecting licence of mining on 470.941 hectares of land in Naobasta, Kachur, Attrauli, Gadhwaah, Chiggawar and Jonahi villages in Rewa district. Not only that, the government also allotted to JP Associates 25.842 hectares of private land belonging to farmers of the area though no farmers’ land can be allotted for mining without the consent of the farmers. When the farmers protested the police fired on them.
In May 2006, four heavy vehicles worth about Rs two crore were registered in the name of Sadhna Singh. According to the petition, these vehicles were acquired by Sadhna “through JP Associates and for JP Associates”. The documents downloaded from the official site of the MP Transport Department “E-Sewa” gave the registration numbers of the four vehicles with owner’s name as “Smt Sadhna Singh”; Father’s/Husband’s name as “Shri S.R.Singh”; and the address as “Jaypee Nagar Plant, Rewa”.
The petition claims that on “actual verification”, no person by the name of Smt Sadhna Singh was found staying at the address given in the registration document.
The affidavit that Chauhan had filed before the Sehore Collector (who was Returning Officer for Budhni Assembly by-election) in April 2006 did not mention that he or his wife was in possession of these vehicles nor could Sadhna Singh have been able to purchase the four vehicles with the income disclosed in the affidavit. It can be safely presumed, the petition says, that Chauhan and his family acquired disproportionate income and assets only after becoming chief minister. (Chauhan was Member of Lok Sabha from Vidisha when he became chief minister and was elected to the Assembly in the Budhni by-election).
Interestingly, Jamuna Devi was fighting against Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s corruption without any support from the organisation; the party leaders were virtually fighting against her as well as against each other. Her death seems to have united the Congress faction leaders to fight against Chauhan’s corrupt administration and thus pay, unwittingly, the real tribute to Jamuna Devi.