Corruption case in India against General Electric Company adjourned to 18 July 2014

https://twitter.com/SeemaSapraLaw

The whistleblower corruption case against General Electric Company - Writ Petition (Civil) 1280/ 2012 (in the matter of Seema Sapra v General Electric Company and Others) - will be next heard in the Delhi High Court on 10 November 2014.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Railway Board financial commissioner exposes Marhowra & Madhepura Projects' scandalous corruption- General Electric whistle-blower - WP Civil 1280 of 2012, a corruption whistle-blower petition in the Delhi High Court (Seema Sapra v General Electric Company and Others)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 

Former India Railways Financial Commissioner Rashmi Kapoot has written to the Railway Minister on 5 September warning that the corruption ridden Marhowra and Madhepura locomotive factory projects with assured off take would leave the Indian Railways in a debt trap and bankrupt and destroy the Indian Railways much as has happened with Air India. Honest Railway officials have warned the new BJP government that there is no requirement of additional locomotives and that the Marhowra and Madhepura locomotive factory PPP Projects should be dropped.

Instead of paying heed to an honest officer's warnings, Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar has had her removed from the post and is proceeding with these corrupt projects. 

What is of great concern is that the recent troubles facing the Railway Minister's son in the rape FIR case and the phone taps on close relatives/ associates of the Railway Minister occurred close to the time when Rashmi Kapoor's letter dated 5 September 2014 was written. Are some persons (from General Electric or corrupt Indian politicians who have taken bribes for these deals ) blackmailing Mr Sadanand Gowda to make him go along with the execution of these corruption ridden Projects and tenders?


Please see the news report below: 

Railway official removed after debt trap projection, warned against setting up of rolling stock making units
Ajmer Singh, ET Bureau Oct 18, 2014, 04.00AM IST


NEW DELHI: The financial commissioner of the Indian Railways has been removed a month after she came up with projections that the state-owned transport behemoth could be headed for an 'irreversible debt trap' if it went ahead with plans to set up new rolling stock manufacturing units. The official, Rashmi Kapoor, was removed on October 14 and replaced by Rajalakshmi Ravi Kumar.



The change took place when Kapoor, who was also holding post of Additional Member (Finance) in the Railway Board, was in Japan on an official trip. On September 5, Kapoor had sent a note to Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar, cautioning against setting up new rolling stock manufacturing units under Assured Offtake Agreements (AOT) on the ground that this would result in a financial commitment of Rs 1.65 lakh crore, which would plunge the Railways into a debt trap.

The September 5 letter was marked to the Railway minister. Kumar confirmed that the finance department had reservations about the wisdom of the locomotive manufacturing plans, but said the Railways would go ahead.

"In 2009 the finance department said yes, and in 2014 it says no, that is not acceptable. I must tell you that due diligence has been done, there is no question of debt trap. We are getting the best technology, these are high technology locomotives which our factories can't make. The locomotives are instant revenue earners, tracks won't give you money," Kumar told ET. An official from the finance department said its analysis indicated huge outflows on account of interest payments.

"We sensitised the new regime in July-August, and in September, recorded our objections on the files that there is no requirement of additional locomotives. And that the proposals to set up rolling stock manufacturing units under Assured Off-Take (AOT) agreements through PPP mode should be dropped."

If financial commitments are affected, the annual lease charge serving liability of Indian Railways (IR) towards Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC), from whom loans shall be raised, would exceed the annual borrowing," a senior Railway officer told ET on condition of anonymity.

"We had apprised the previous Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge also, but nothing happened. And now we decided, this is a national waste and can't be allowed," he said.

Further, locomotives and wagons, if needed, can be sourced from units belonging to the Railways. Besides, Dedicated Freight Corridors, once made operational, would permit high-speed freight trains,  thereby reducing the additional rolling stock requirement, so there is a need to decongest the tracks, the finance department reportedly advised.

However, the officials of Mechanical and Electrical wings of the Raiways, insists that the figures projected by the finance wing are theoretical and not applicable to field situations. They insist there is a requirement of additional wagons and locomotives, and commitments made in Parliament to set up these units must be honoured.

"We are short by 500-600 locos and we can't invest in inefficient loco units, where saturation has already reached. Also money generated through these new locos will be high. The two units at Madhepura and Marhowra would manufacture 1800 locos, these are revenue earners. The Cabinet has approved the financial bid document for these two projects. Under the AOT agreements, we have rigid performance parameters. And for 6000 HP and 12000 HP locos, the technology being offered is far superior, which our units at Chitaranjan and Varanasi can't manufacture," Kumar said.


The two units proposed to be set up under AOT agreement are ELF Madhepura (for electric locomotive) and DLF Marhowra (HP Diesel Locomotives). In all, 15 rolling stock units are proposed to be set up under AOT agreements, through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. According to official figures, in 2013-14, Railways borrowings were at Rs 11,790 crore, whereas lease charges (debt servicing) stood at Rs 13,180 crore, with a negative cash flow of Rs 1,390 crore.


"The total financial commitment between 2018- and 2029 is estimated to be Rs 1.65 lakh crore. These are all green field projects and railways shall have to pay for them by borrowing from IRFC. And if AOT commitments are affected, then average annual borrowing from IRFC would peak to Rs 38,000crore. Railways is not generating enough to pay service charges, which include dividend charges to government of India and lease charges to IRFC," disclosed a senior railway official, who has direct knowledge of the ongoing controversy.


See below the news report concerning phone taps on Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda. In 2013, then Railway Minister Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal also faced phone tapping. He too then ended up proceeding with these corruption ridden Projects. 

Row Over Alleged Tapping of Phones of Sadananda Gowda's Aides
Published: 10th October 2014 09:55 PM


BANGALORE: A controversy erupted today over reports that the city police had allegedly ordered tapping of telephones of five associates of Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda with the Congress government denying any knowledge of it and BJP demanding a high-level probe into it.

"I do not have any information on the phone tapping having been ordered by our police on five aides of Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, but I will look into the matter," state Home Minister K J George told reporters here.

A media report said police allegedly ordered phone tapping, including that of Gowda's brother, from September 5 to 11, when the minister's son Karthik Gowda was reported absconding after a Kannada starlet filed a police complaint with accusations of rape, kidnap and cheating against him.

It also reported that Gowda's associates had protested, saying it was invasion of their privacy and a larger ploy to bring disrepute to the image of Railway Minister.

Speaking to reporters here, Gowda said the tapping could have been done to find out whether he was influencing the witness in the alleged case.

"I have nothing to say about phone tapping on my associates. May be, it was done to find out whether I was influencing the witness," he said.

However, it was wrong to speak anything before charge sheet was filed in the case, he added.

Slamming the government over alleged tapping, senior state BJP leader Suresh Kumar it was not only a violation of privacy laws but also an attempt to crush the BJP.

Kumar said Gowda is a former chief minister and now a Union minister and if police had wanted, they should have summoned the five persons for inquiry.

The Intelligence department was being handled by the Chief Minister himself and tapping the phones without his knowledge was not possible, he said.

Another state BJP leader and former Home Minister R Ashok said the very act of the police to tap the phone is illegal. "This very phone tapping is illegal."

A magistrate court had issued arrest warrant against Karthik but the sessions court granted him anticipatory bail after which he had appeared before police for questioning.

The actress had claimed she and Karthik got married at Gowda's residence in Mangalore in June. Her claim came on the day Karthik got engaged to another woman at Kushalnagar in Kodagu district.


Her allegations caused severe embarrassment to Sadananda Gowda who has maintained all along that law will take its own course.


I also reproduce a 2012 news report published in the Pioneer soon after the Delhi High Court issued notice in my writ petition that also exposed the corrupt dealings in these Projects. 

US loco giant pits Montek against planners
Author: J Gopikrishnan
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 19, 2012
URL: http://dailypioneer.com/home/online-channel/360-todays-newspaper/50852-us-loco-giant-pits-montek-against-planners.html

In the midst of political turmoil over the railway fare hike, an intense fight is going on in higher echelons of bureaucracy over the selection of bidders for two locomotive factories that then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had announced for his parliamentary constituency in Bihar in 2009.
In the 2009 Railway Budget, Lalu had announced setting up of one electric locomotive factory at Madhepura and another diesel loco factory in Marhowra on PPP model.
The process of selection of bidders has pitched two key Ministries - Railways and Finance - against the Planning Commission. Top officials of Railway Board and Finance Ministry have objected to the proposals of Plan panel to change the Cabinet-approved bidding process and supply conditions for these two pending projects, which have reached nowhere in three years.
The official communication and file notings available with The Pioneer show that top officials of Railway Board and Finance Ministry protested over the changing of the Cabinet decisions to favour certain bidders by Plan panel deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia's Advisor Gajendra Haldea.
For executing the bidding process, the Cabinet in 2009 formed an Empowered Committee consisting of officials drawn from Railway Board, Finance Ministry and Planning Commission. The controversies started when Haldea mooted some changes last year in the Cabinet-approved proposal.
In case of Madhepura project, senior officials of the Railway Board and Finance Ministry noted down that the minutes of the meeting were also "changed" and "misquoted" to propose major changes in the  bidding documents to favour the US giant, General Electric.
In a series of communications between the Empowered Committee members, Finance Ministry and Railway Board officials have stated that Haldea's proposal to change the Cabinet approved bidding procedures and supply conditions would place an extra burden of more than Rs16,405 crore.
Sources told The Pioneer, in several meetings of the empowered group, heated exchanges took place and some members alleged that these changes were introduced to suit General Electric - the lone bidder for the project.
In the bidding process of Marhowra project also, top officials of the Railways and Finance Ministries protested Haldea's high-handedness. "Haldea apparently thinks that India is a Banana Republic that can be forced to accept a con game….," noted Sanjiv Handa Member (Mechanical) of Railway Board in a note seen by the Railway Board Chairman.
In the same note, Additional Member (Production Unit) SK Sharma of the Railways wrote that "it is unfortunate that professionalism, probity and regard for highest standards of integrity of the mechanical directorate are being questioned by resorting to sensationalism, misinformation and slander, rather than reasoned debate. It is for the investigators to determine whether this was part of a larger agenda aimed at compromising the Indian Railways interest."
The Finance Ministry officials also expressed displeasure on changing of Cabinet-approved bidding and supply conditions. A Railway Board note of June 28, 2011 read, "Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan specifically asked financial commissioner the decisions of the Empowered Committee at the behest of the bidders will need to be seen with regard to their financial aspects so as to ensure that gaming by the bidders is ruled out and Railways interest will not be compromised. The minutes do not include these concerns of the Secretary, Economic Affairs."
In a communication to Montek on February 9, Planning Commission Member Secretary Sudha Pillai questioned the authority of Haldea for approving the changed proposals, which he himself mooted.
"Subsequently, several amendments that were proposed to the terms approved by the Cabinet were also admittedly authored by him. These proposals altering the terms of the proposed contracts in significant ways were quickly endorsed by the Infrastructure Division (headed by Haldea), bypassing me on some occasions.
"However, these amendments when subjected to detailed discussion and scrutiny by the Empowered Committee were found to have serious implications which had not been adequately addressed. It was clear that these amendments were not subjected to independent and impartial scrutiny. This created a very embarrassing situation for me as a member of the Empowered Committee," said Sudha Pillai in a communication to Montek.
Tug of war
* Montek's Advisor Gajendra Haldea moots changing of Cabinet approved bidding and supply conditions for Madhepura Electric Locomotive Factory
* Finance, Railways officials and Planning Commission Members protest and say these changes are to favour US giant General Electric at an extra burden of Rs16,405 crore
* Empowered Committee of Cabinet objects to Haldea's proposals
* Railway officials also protest against Haldea's suggestions on Marhowra Diesel Loco Factory


Please read below an interview by former GE India head Scott Bayman in 2007, who it has now emerged was acting as GE India head for 14 years in violation of Indian law.  

This interview and other material in the public domain raises several issues. 

Interestingly Scott Bayman fled India when the Income Tax dept started investigating Permanent Establishment rule violations & Tax fraud by GE in India. Read about the Tax fraud by GE in India under Scott Bayman who fled India as a result http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/2014/10/fwd-message-to-prime-minister-narendra.html

The corrupt links between GE, DLF, Montek, Sam Pitroda and the Congress Party run long and deep. So GE's Scott Bayman's closest adviser & friend in India was DLFs KP Singh who was simultaneously a fraudster as now established by the SEBI order banning DLF, KP Singh & cronies from the capital markets for IPO related fraud which KP Singh was engaged in contemporaneous to his association with Scott Bayman. See http://firstbiz.firstpost.com/corporate/housewives-of-dlf-how-the-spouse-factor-led-to-sebi-crackdown-104724.html

GE's Scott Bayman in 2007 on KP Singh "He remains my informal advisor, confidante and mentor,"

Bayman also admits that GE lobbied for Boeing to get AirIndia orders which then bankrupted & destroyed AirIndia. He also admits that he "was working equally hard to bag the Indian Air Force order for 128 fighter jets for American firms." 


(Note see http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3361 "One, have you heard of a Company that makes a financial commitment of Rs 55,000 crore for purchase of 111 aircraft on an equity base of Rs 145 crore and carry-forward losses of Rs 776 crore -- (Indian Airlines loss of Rs 957 crore less Air India profit reserves Rs 181 crs) as on March 31, 2006? ... Two, since loan funds were used to fund purchase of aircraft, was it confirmed that expected revenue and profits would enable timely repayment of debt! If there was indeed such a confirmation, the projections and underlying assumptions should be published to start a public debate.") - These were the Air India aircraft purchase orders that GE, Boeing and the US government extracted from the UPA government.

Also read http://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/7ChDN1veCw60rEYtVhszoL/Air-India8217s-Boeing-buy-forced-CAG.html "Prashant Bhushan, a Supreme Court lawyer, who is pursuing a public interest litigation seeking a court-monitored investigation into the deal, said: "Clearly this needs investigation. Prima facie it's a thoroughly corrupt case as big as the 2G scam, involving huge kickbacks, politicians and bureaucrats. Here is a case where Air India, which was flying below capacity, was forced to buy aircraft, which were probably not required, at an exorbitant rate. We will press for a court -monitored investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)."

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India criticizing these Air India orders on Boeing and GE can be read at http://saiindia.gov.in/english/home/our_products/audit_report/government_wise/union_audit/recent_reports/union_performance/2011_2012/Civil_%20Performance_Audits/Report_18/chap3.pdf
These orders were clearly a result of corrupt dealings where bribes would have been paid by Boeing or GE or both. 

Bayman is also proud of the fact that GE " was able to get back almost the entire $115 million it had invested" in the Dabhol project. Ratnagiri Power the rechristened Dabhol power project is still lying in the doldrums, not operational, losing money, an unfeasible project that was the result of GE corruption involving Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, N K P Salve and Sharad Pawar among others. The CIA was involved in getting this deal through as well. The Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi should consider declaring the Dabhol Power Plant as a museum for corruption. 

The NDA government with Arun Jaitley as law minister and Soli Sorabjee as Attorney General also failed to protect national interest in the Enron litigation and enabled GE to recover all of its money invested in Dabhol, while Indian government Banks, and PSUs were financially bled. In Maharashtra, former Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati ensured that the States's interest was not protected. 

A law firm eventually renamed AZB Partners emerged as a result of Soli Sorabjee's corrupt dealings with General Electric in Dabhol. This firm was formed by Sorabjee's daughter Zia Mody tying up with Behram Vakil who was already involved in the Dabhol Project (from inception). GE became a marquee client of AZB ensuring large assured revenues. Vahanvati's son Goolamhussein Essaji Vahanvati joined the party at AZB later. 

Note the conflict of interest issue here. Soli J Sorabjee was supposed to be safeguarding Indian governmental interests in the Dabhol litigation, while his daughter Zia Mody with Behram Vakil were representing potential buyers of Dabhol (first Tata then BP). These potential buys failed, and instead GE and Bechtel ended up buying the Enron stake in Dabhol at a discount and then selling it to the Government at a profit. Sometime during this process GE become a client of Zia Mody & Behram Vakil. 

(Note: See http://www.firstpost.com/india/a-g-goolam-vahanvatis-son-in-law-fined-by-uk-regulator-1114503.html which states "The Delhi-based daily Millenium Post on 11 September quoted Dasgupta's three-page letter to the Prime Minister which alleged that Vahanvati had illegally maintained a foreign bank account in the Union Bank of Switzerland at its Singapore branch since 1997. The letter also provided details of the account number, secret code name and number and details of the beneficiary of the foreign bank account that was allegedly in the name of Vahanvati. The MP asked the Prime Minister to enquire and verify the information he had provided".  Was this a bribe from GE/ Enron to Mr Vahanvati?


This Firspost reports also states this about Mr Goolam Vahanvati's son in law: "Incidentally, the name of Carrimjee, who is at the centre of this web of four alleged market manipulators, features in a list of holders of accounts in tax havens that was published earlier this year by the International Centre of Investigative Journalists. A search of the database of the Centre shows that Carrimjee operates an offshore company called Fast Tycoon Limited with a banking link in the British Virgin Islands.) Also read http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?288473

Chidambaram/ Montek Singh Ahluwalia/ Manmohan Singh / UPA later negotiated a maintenance contract for Dabhol with GE, which has again only enriched GE, while the power plant being unfeasible has floundered. Vahanvati was Solicitor General /Attorney General at this time. 

I request that your Government pay attention to the corruption in the Madhepura and Marhowra Projects and ensure compliance with the rule of law. 

Seema Sapra 

Scott Bayman's interview

The man behind GE's India success

May 29, 2007 14:26 IST

As he prepares to leave the business he set up 14 years ago, GE's India head reflects on his hits and misses and shares his plans to return soon.
India was nowhere on Scott Bayman's radar screen. Having worked with General Electric for six years in the United States, he had indicated some time in 1993 that he would be game for an overseas stint, hoping to spend some time in Paris, London or Brussels. Instead, Jack Welch sent him to India for three years. Bayman stayed on for 14 years and will be retiring from the company at the end of this month.
"Jack had great instincts," says Bayman, dressed in a red T-shirt and looking relaxed. The bliss of a coming holiday is unmistakable in the body language. We are at San Gimignano at The Imperial in the capital. We had earlier agreed to meet at Daniell's Tavern over some spicy Indian food. But when I called to book a table, I was told the restaurant opened only for dinner. So Bayman settled for Italian fare.
Jack Welch first came to India in the late-1980s at the invitation of Kushal Pal Singh of DLF, who took him to meet Rajiv Gandhi, Sam Pitroda and Montek Singh Ahluwalia. He was impressed with what he saw, especially taken in by the skills of Indians. That is when he decided to invest in India. It was for Bayman to build a business from scratch in a country about which he knew nothing.
Help came from friends like Singh. "He remains my informal advisor, confidante and mentor," says Bayman, sipping a red wine of 1983 vintage. The dozen-odd GE companies operating in the country will end the year with a turnover of $2.8 billion.
Bayman admits that GE's business in India has picked up only in the last three-four years, before which it was stagnating at around $500 million per annum. By 2010, GE hopes its India business to improve to $8 billion - 16 per cent of the projected turnover of $50 billion from the emerging markets.
Be that as it may, I remind Bayman that at least one of his plans for India never took off - to have a bank in the country. Bayman says talks are still going on with the Reserve Bank of India. I leave it at that. On his part, Bayman ranks the failure of GE's joint venture with the Godrej family, Godrej GE Appliances, as his biggest failure in India.
"It was our mistake. While everybody in business knew about GE, the consumers didn't know the GE brand. The cost of building the brand didn't make sense. Our products were not suited for India," Bayman says. As he launches on his lettuce salad, the words of a common friend start ringing in my ears: "He is not a bullshitter and talks straight."
"It was the saddest day of my career," Bayman adds. What must have hurt more is that before coming to India, Bayman was in-charge for worldwide marketing and product management at GE Appliances.
On the positive side, Bayman can take credit for starting the BPO movement in the country with Genpact (now Gecis) in 1997. "At that time, unemployment in the United States was zero. And we also got savings by starting operations in India," Bayman says, adding: "Had there been a BPO industry in India at that time, we wouldn't have started the company."
GE subsequently sold 60 per cent in the venture to private equity investors once it realised it wasn't its core business. "It is good we sold to private equity; that way, the company has been able to preserve the GE culture," he says. When I ask him the obvious question, Bayman admits that he did have several offers from Indian businessmen to buy out the BPO outfit.
Bayman's biggest achievement in India, observers say, was to extricate GE from the Dabhol mess. GE had got the contract to supply turbines for Enron's ill-fated Dabhol project and had, therefore, taken a 10 per cent stake in the company. Once Enron imploded, GE's investments were in danger. But Bayman was able to get the money back, though after two years.
"This couldn't have happened in another country, we wouldn't have got a penny back," says Bayman, having moved on to a salami pizza, while I negotiate a baked fillet of fish served with mashed potatoes. GE, he adds, was able to get back almost the entire $115 million it had invested in the project.
Having come out of Dabhol unscathed, Bayman's reputation in the capital's power circles as an expert in government relations grew manifold. "Jack Welch sold India to the world. GE has been a good friend of India in Washington during tough times," he says.
When I ask him to elaborate, he adds: "After the nuclear tests, we worked to get some sanctions against India lifted. We talked with Senators and Congressmen for the inclusion of India in the nuclear club. I am as much an insider as any expat."
He lobbied successfully for Boeing to bag the multi-billion order for passenger aircraft from Air-India - GE makes the engines - and was working equally hard to bag the Indian Air Force order for 128 fighter jets for American firms.
Naturally, Indian companies want Bayman on their board. He has already joined the Crompton Greaves board and says he has a few more offers. "I will come to India four to five times every year to attend board meetings and play golf with my friends," he says.
I next draw Bayman's attention to GE CEO Jeff Immelt's recent statement that after GE Plastic's divestment to Sabic, no other business would be sold. Jack Welch had laid down the rule that GE should get out of any business in which it was not number one or number two. So, is "Neutron" Jack's imprint on GE over?
"We are less hung up about number one and number two now," Bayman says, adding: "What matters is that we are in businesses and countries that will provide double digit growth in the long run."
And India is one of these countries. It is evident that India has left a deep impression on him - his eyes light up whenever he talks about the country and its people. "The sights and smells are boggling," he says, adding: "In contrast, the United States is generic and vanilla." Bayman has been spotted in crowded Delhi markets like Lajpat Nagar selecting curtains for his home.
When he first came to India, Bayman says he found India to be self-centric. Now, he finds the country more outward looking. "But the core values of family and compassion are still there in the people," he says.
Still, Bayman leaves for the United States next month, where he will alternate between Chicago and Florida. "Go where the sun is: Chicago in summer and Florida in the winters," he lets out his retirement plans.
Both of us decide to skip dessert.
Photograph: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images
Bhupesh Bhandari
Source: 




The ongoing whistleblower corruption against General Electric Company in India (Writ Petition (Civil) 1280/ 2012 – in the matter of Seema Sapra v. General Electric Company and Others) is next listed before the Delhi High Court on 10 November 2014. 

Details of GE corruption in Indian Railway locomotive tenders can be found at http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/p/some-of-corruption-fraud-bribery_4275.html

The full case record can be found at http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/2014/09/fwd-seema-sapra-general-electric_22.html

Also read about how as part of attempted cover up GE is using unauthorised persons to impersonate it in the Delhi High Court in this matter http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/p/unauthorised-and-fraudulent.html

Also read about massive tax fraud by General Electric in India - http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/2014/10/fwd-message-to-prime-minister-narendra.html


Also read about General Electric's money laundering and how it used an NBCU subsidiary to transfer bribes through an India media company NDTV at http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/p/complaint-of-money-laundering-against.html



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Seema Sapra <seema.sapra@googlemail.com>
Date: Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM
Subject: Railway Board financial commissioner exposes Marhowra & Madhepura Projects' scandalous corruption- General Electric whistle-blower - WP Civil 1280 of 2012, a corruption whistle-blower petition in the Delhi High Court (Seema Sapra v General Electric Company and Others)
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Cc: Seema Sapra <seema.sapra@gmail.com>, Seema Sapra <seemasapra@hotmail.com>



Prime Minister Narendra Modi and All Others, 

Former India Railways Financial Commissioner Rashmi Kapoot has written to the Railway Minister on 5 September warning that the corruption ridden Marhowra and Madhepura locomotive factory projects with assured off take would leave the Indian Railways in a debt trap and bankrupt and destroy the Indian Railways much as has happened with Air India. Honest Railway officials have warned the new BJP government that there is no requirement of additional locomotives and that the Marhowra and Madhepura locomotive factory PPP Projects should be dropped. 

Instead of paying heed to an honest officer's warnings, Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar has had her removed from the post and is proceeding with these corrupt projects. 

What is of great concern is that the recent troubles facing the Railway Minister's son in the rape FIR case and the phone taps on close relatives/ associates of the Railway Minister occurred close to the time when Rashmi Kapoor's letter dated 5 September 2014 was written. Are some persons (from General Electric or corrupt Indian politicians who have taken bribes for these deals ) blackmailing Mr Sadanand Gowda to make him go along with the execution of these corruption ridden Projects and tenders?


Please see the news report below: 

Railway official removed after debt trap projection, warned against setting up of rolling stock making units
Ajmer Singh, ET Bureau Oct 18, 2014, 04.00AM IST


NEW DELHI: The financial commissioner of the Indian Railways has been removed a month after she came up with projections that the state-owned transport behemoth could be headed for an 'irreversible debt trap' if it went ahead with plans to set up new rolling stock manufacturing units. The official, Rashmi Kapoor, was removed on October 14 and replaced by Rajalakshmi Ravi Kumar.



The change took place when Kapoor, who was also holding post of Additional Member (Finance) in the Railway Board, was in Japan on an official trip. On September 5, Kapoor had sent a note to Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar, cautioning against setting up new rolling stock manufacturing units under Assured Offtake Agreements (AOT) on the ground that this would result in a financial commitment of Rs 1.65 lakh crore, which would plunge the Railways into a debt trap.

The September 5 letter was marked to the Railway minister. Kumar confirmed that the finance department had reservations about the wisdom of the locomotive manufacturing plans, but said the Railways would go ahead.

"In 2009 the finance department said yes, and in 2014 it says no, that is not acceptable. I must tell you that due diligence has been done, there is no question of debt trap. We are getting the best technology, these are high technology locomotives which our factories can't make. The locomotives are instant revenue earners, tracks won't give you money," Kumar told ET. An official from the finance department said its analysis indicated huge outflows on account of interest payments.

"We sensitised the new regime in July-August, and in September, recorded our objections on the files that there is no requirement of additional locomotives. And that the proposals to set up rolling stock manufacturing units under Assured Off-Take (AOT) agreements through PPP mode should be dropped."

If financial commitments are affected, the annual lease charge serving liability of Indian Railways (IR) towards Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC), from whom loans shall be raised, would exceed the annual borrowing," a senior Railway officer told ET on condition of anonymity.

"We had apprised the previous Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge also, but nothing happened. And now we decided, this is a national waste and can't be allowed," he said.

Further, locomotives and wagons, if needed, can be sourced from units belonging to the Railways. Besides, Dedicated Freight Corridors, once made operational, would permit high-speed freight trains, thereby reducing the additional rolling stock requirement, so there is a need to decongest the tracks, the finance department reportedly advised.

However, the officials of Mechanical and Electrical wings of the Raiways, insists that the figures projected by the finance wing are theoretical and not applicable to field situations. They insist there is a requirement of additional wagons and locomotives, and commitments made in Parliament to set up these units must be honoured.

"We are short by 500-600 locos and we can't invest in inefficient loco units, where saturation has already reached. Also money generated through these new locos will be high. The two units at Madhepura and Marhowra would manufacture 1800 locos, these are revenue earners. The Cabinet has approved the financial bid document for these two projects. Under the AOT agreements, we have rigid performance parameters. And for 6000 HP and 12000 HP locos, the technology being offered is far superior, which our units at Chitaranjan and Varanasi can't manufacture," Kumar said.


The two units proposed to be set up under AOT agreement are ELF Madhepura (for electric locomotive) and DLF Marhowra (HP Diesel Locomotives). In all, 15 rolling stock units are proposed to be set up under AOT agreements, through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. According to official figures, in 2013-14, Railways borrowings were at Rs 11,790 crore, whereas lease charges (debt servicing) stood at Rs 13,180 crore, with a negative cash flow of Rs 1,390 crore.

"The total financial commitment between 2018- and 2029 is estimated to be Rs 1.65 lakh crore. These are all green field projects and railways shall have to pay for them by borrowing from IRFC. And if AOT commitments are affected, then average annual borrowing from IRFC would peak to Rs 38,000crore. Railways is not generating enough to pay service charges, which include dividend charges to government of India and lease charges to IRFC," disclosed a senior railway official, who has direct knowledge of the ongoing controversy.


See below the news report concerning phone taps on Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda. In 2013, then Railway Minister Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal also faced phone tapping. He too then ended up proceeding with these corruption ridden Projects. 

Row Over Alleged Tapping of Phones of Sadananda Gowda's Aides
Published: 10th October 2014 09:55 PM

BANGALORE: A controversy erupted today over reports that the city police had allegedly ordered tapping of telephones of five associates of Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda with the Congress government denying any knowledge of it and BJP demanding a high-level probe into it.

"I do not have any information on the phone tapping having been ordered by our police on five aides of Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, but I will look into the matter," state Home Minister K J George told reporters here.

A media report said police allegedly ordered phone tapping, including that of Gowda's brother, from September 5 to 11, when the minister's son Karthik Gowda was reported absconding after a Kannada starlet filed a police complaint with accusations of rape, kidnap and cheating against him.

It also reported that Gowda's associates had protested, saying it was invasion of their privacy and a larger ploy to bring disrepute to the image of Railway Minister.

Speaking to reporters here, Gowda said the tapping could have been done to find out whether he was influencing the witness in the alleged case.

"I have nothing to say about phone tapping on my associates. May be, it was done to find out whether I was influencing the witness," he said.

However, it was wrong to speak anything before charge sheet was filed in the case, he added.

Slamming the government over alleged tapping, senior state BJP leader Suresh Kumar it was not only a violation of privacy laws but also an attempt to crush the BJP.

Kumar said Gowda is a former chief minister and now a Union minister and if police had wanted, they should have summoned the five persons for inquiry.

The Intelligence department was being handled by the Chief Minister himself and tapping the phones without his knowledge was not possible, he said.

Another state BJP leader and former Home Minister R Ashok said the very act of the police to tap the phone is illegal. "This very phone tapping is illegal."

A magistrate court had issued arrest warrant against Karthik but the sessions court granted him anticipatory bail after which he had appeared before police for questioning.

The actress had claimed she and Karthik got married at Gowda's residence in Mangalore in June. Her claim came on the day Karthik got engaged to another woman at Kushalnagar in Kodagu district.

Her allegations caused severe embarrassment to Sadananda Gowda who has maintained all along that law will take its own course.


I also reproduce a 2012 news report published in the Pioneer soon after the Delhi High Court issued notice in my writ petition that also exposed the corrupt dealings in these Projects. 

US loco giant pits Montek against planners
Author: J Gopikrishnan
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 19, 2012
URL: http://dailypioneer.com/home/online-channel/360-todays-newspaper/50852-us-loco-giant-pits-montek-against-planners.html

In the midst of political turmoil over the railway fare hike, an intense fight is going on in higher echelons of bureaucracy over the selection of bidders for two locomotive factories that then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had announced for his parliamentary constituency in Bihar in 2009.
In the 2009 Railway Budget, Lalu had announced setting up of one electric locomotive factory at Madhepura and another diesel loco factory in Marhowra on PPP model.
The process of selection of bidders has pitched two key Ministries - Railways and Finance - against the Planning Commission. Top officials of Railway Board and Finance Ministry have objected to the proposals of Plan panel to change the Cabinet-approved bidding process and supply conditions for these two pending projects, which have reached nowhere in three years.
The official communication and file notings available with The Pioneer show that top officials of Railway Board and Finance Ministry protested over the changing of the Cabinet decisions to favour certain bidders by Plan panel deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia's Advisor Gajendra Haldea.
For executing the bidding process, the Cabinet in 2009 formed an Empowered Committee consisting of officials drawn from Railway Board, Finance Ministry and Planning Commission. The controversies started when Haldea mooted some changes last year in the Cabinet-approved proposal.
In case of Madhepura project, senior officials of the Railway Board and Finance Ministry noted down that the minutes of the meeting were also "changed" and "misquoted" to propose major changes in the bidding documents to favour the US giant, General Electric.
In a series of communications between the Empowered Committee members, Finance Ministry and Railway Board officials have stated that Haldea's proposal to change the Cabinet approved bidding procedures and supply conditions would place an extra burden of more than Rs16,405 crore.
Sources told The Pioneer, in several meetings of the empowered group, heated exchanges took place and some members alleged that these changes were introduced to suit General Electric - the lone bidder for the project.
In the bidding process of Marhowra project also, top officials of the Railways and Finance Ministries protested Haldea's high-handedness. "Haldea apparently thinks that India is a Banana Republic that can be forced to accept a con game….," noted Sanjiv Handa Member (Mechanical) of Railway Board in a note seen by the Railway Board Chairman.
In the same note, Additional Member (Production Unit) SK Sharma of the Railways wrote that "it is unfortunate that professionalism, probity and regard for highest standards of integrity of the mechanical directorate are being questioned by resorting to sensationalism, misinformation and slander, rather than reasoned debate. It is for the investigators to determine whether this was part of a larger agenda aimed at compromising the Indian Railways interest."
The Finance Ministry officials also expressed displeasure on changing of Cabinet-approved bidding and supply conditions. A Railway Board note of June 28, 2011 read, "Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan specifically asked financial commissioner the decisions of the Empowered Committee at the behest of the bidders will need to be seen with regard to their financial aspects so as to ensure that gaming by the bidders is ruled out and Railways interest will not be compromised. The minutes do not include these concerns of the Secretary, Economic Affairs."
In a communication to Montek on February 9, Planning Commission Member Secretary Sudha Pillai questioned the authority of Haldea for approving the changed proposals, which he himself mooted.
"Subsequently, several amendments that were proposed to the terms approved by the Cabinet were also admittedly authored by him. These proposals altering the terms of the proposed contracts in significant ways were quickly endorsed by the Infrastructure Division (headed by Haldea), bypassing me on some occasions.
"However, these amendments when subjected to detailed discussion and scrutiny by the Empowered Committee were found to have serious implications which had not been adequately addressed. It was clear that these amendments were not subjected to independent and impartial scrutiny. This created a very embarrassing situation for me as a member of the Empowered Committee," said Sudha Pillai in a communication to Montek.
Tug of war
* Montek's Advisor Gajendra Haldea moots changing of Cabinet approved bidding and supply conditions for Madhepura Electric Locomotive Factory
* Finance, Railways officials and Planning Commission Members protest and say these changes are to favour US giant General Electric at an extra burden of Rs16,405 crore
* Empowered Committee of Cabinet objects to Haldea's proposals
* Railway officials also protest against Haldea's suggestions on Marhowra Diesel Loco Factory


Please read below an interview by former GE India head Scott Bayman in 2007, who it has now emerged was acting as GE India head for 14 years in violation of Indian law.  

This interview and other material in the public domain raises several issues. 

Interestingly Scott Bayman fled India when the Income Tax dept started investigating Permanent Establishment rule violations & Tax fraud by GE in India. Read about the Tax fraud by GE in India under Scott Bayman who fled India as a result http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/2014/10/fwd-message-to-prime-minister-narendra.html

The corrupt links between GE, DLF, Montek, Sam Pitroda and the Congress Party run long and deep. So GE's Scott Bayman's closest adviser & friend in India was DLFs KP Singh who was simultaneously a fraudster as now established by the SEBI order banning DLF, KP Singh & cronies from the capital markets for IPO related fraud which KP Singh was engaged in contemporaneous to his association with Scott Bayman. See http://firstbiz.firstpost.com/corporate/housewives-of-dlf-how-the-spouse-factor-led-to-sebi-crackdown-104724.html

GE's Scott Bayman in 2007 on KP Singh "He remains my informal advisor, confidante and mentor,"

Bayman also admits that GE lobbied for Boeing to get AirIndia orders which then bankrupted & destroyed AirIndia. He also admits that he "was working equally hard to bag the Indian Air Force order for 128 fighter jets for American firms." 

(Note see http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3361 "One, have you heard of a Company that makes a financial commitment of Rs 55,000 crore for purchase of 111 aircraft on an equity base of Rs 145 crore and carry-forward losses of Rs 776 crore -- (Indian Airlines loss of Rs 957 crore less Air India profit reserves Rs 181 crs) as on March 31, 2006? ... Two, since loan funds were used to fund purchase of aircraft, was it confirmed that expected revenue and profits would enable timely repayment of debt! If there was indeed such a confirmation, the projections and underlying assumptions should be published to start a public debate.") - These were the Air India aircraft purchase orders that GE, Boeing and the US government extracted from the UPA government.

Also read http://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/7ChDN1veCw60rEYtVhszoL/Air-India8217s-Boeing-buy-forced-CAG.html "Prashant Bhushan, a Supreme Court lawyer, who is pursuing a public interest litigation seeking a court-monitored investigation into the deal, said: "Clearly this needs investigation. Prima facie it's a thoroughly corrupt case as big as the 2G scam, involving huge kickbacks, politicians and bureaucrats. Here is a case where Air India, which was flying below capacity, was forced to buy aircraft, which were probably not required, at an exorbitant rate. We will press for a court -monitored investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)."

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India criticizing these Air India orders on Boeing and GE can be read at http://saiindia.gov.in/english/home/our_products/audit_report/government_wise/union_audit/recent_reports/union_performance/2011_2012/Civil_%20Performance_Audits/Report_18/chap3.pdf
These orders were clearly a result of corrupt dealings where bribes would have been paid by Boeing or GE or both. 

Bayman is also proud of the fact that GE " was able to get back almost the entire $115 million it had invested" in the Dabhol project. Ratnagiri Power the rechristened Dabhol power project is still lying in the doldrums, not operational, losing money, an unfeasible project that was the result of GE corruption involving Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, N K P Salve and Sharad Pawar among others. The CIA was involved in getting this deal through as well. The Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi should consider declaring the Dabhol Power Plant as a museum for corruption. 

The NDA government with Arun Jaitley as law minister and Soli Sorabjee as Attorney General also failed to protect national interest in the Enron litigation and enabled GE to recover all of its money invested in Dabhol, while Indian government Banks, and PSUs were financially bled. In Maharashtra, former Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati ensured that the States's interest was not protected. 

A law firm eventually renamed AZB Partners emerged as a result of Soli Sorabjee's corrupt dealings with General Electric in Dabhol. This firm was formed by Sorabjee's daughter Zia Mody tying up with Behram Vakil who was already involved in the Dabhol Project (from inception). GE became a marquee client of AZB ensuring large assured revenues. Vahanvati's son Goolamhussein Essaji Vahanvati joined the party at AZB later. 

Note the conflict of interest issue here. Soli J Sorabjee was supposed to be safeguarding Indian governmental interests in the Dabhol litigation, while his daughter Zia Mody with Behram Vakil were representing potential buyers of Dabhol (first Tata then BP). These potential buys failed, and instead GE and Bechtel ended up buying the Enron stake in Dabhol at a discount and then selling it to the Government at a profit. Sometime during this process GE become a client of Zia Mody & Behram Vakil. 

(Note: See http://www.firstpost.com/india/a-g-goolam-vahanvatis-son-in-law-fined-by-uk-regulator-1114503.html which states "The Delhi-based daily Millenium Post on 11 September quoted Dasgupta's three-page letter to the Prime Minister which alleged that Vahanvati had illegally maintained a foreign bank account in the Union Bank of Switzerland at its Singapore branch since 1997. The letter also provided details of the account number, secret code name and number and details of the beneficiary of the foreign bank account that was allegedly in the name of Vahanvati. The MP asked the Prime Minister to enquire and verify the information he had provided".  Was this a bribe from GE/ Enron to Mr Vahanvati?

This Firspost reports also states this about Mr Goolam Vahanvati's son in law: "Incidentally, the name of Carrimjee, who is at the centre of this web of four alleged market manipulators, features in a list of holders of accounts in tax havens that was published earlier this year by the International Centre of Investigative Journalists. A search of the database of the Centre shows that Carrimjee operates an offshore company called Fast Tycoon Limited with a banking link in the British Virgin Islands.) Also read http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?288473

Chidambaram/ Montek Singh Ahluwalia/ Manmohan Singh / UPA later negotiated a maintenance contract for Dabhol with GE, which has again only enriched GE, while the power plant being unfeasible has floundered. Vahanvati was Solicitor General /Attorney General at this time. 

I request that your Government pay attention to the corruption in the Madhepura and Marhowra Projects and ensure compliance with the rule of law. 

Seema Sapra 

Scott Bayman's interview

The man behind GE's India success

May 29, 2007 14:26 IST

As he prepares to leave the business he set up 14 years ago, GE's India head reflects on his hits and misses and shares his plans to return soon.
India was nowhere on Scott Bayman's radar screen. Having worked with General Electric for six years in the United States, he had indicated some time in 1993 that he would be game for an overseas stint, hoping to spend some time in Paris, London or Brussels. Instead, Jack Welch sent him to India for three years. Bayman stayed on for 14 years and will be retiring from the company at the end of this month.
"Jack had great instincts," says Bayman, dressed in a red T-shirt and looking relaxed. The bliss of a coming holiday is unmistakable in the body language. We are at San Gimignano at The Imperial in the capital. We had earlier agreed to meet at Daniell's Tavern over some spicy Indian food. But when I called to book a table, I was told the restaurant opened only for dinner. So Bayman settled for Italian fare.
Jack Welch first came to India in the late-1980s at the invitation of Kushal Pal Singh of DLF, who took him to meet Rajiv Gandhi, Sam Pitroda and Montek Singh Ahluwalia. He was impressed with what he saw, especially taken in by the skills of Indians. That is when he decided to invest in India. It was for Bayman to build a business from scratch in a country about which he knew nothing.
Help came from friends like Singh. "He remains my informal advisor, confidante and mentor," says Bayman, sipping a red wine of 1983 vintage. The dozen-odd GE companies operating in the country will end the year with a turnover of $2.8 billion.
Bayman admits that GE's business in India has picked up only in the last three-four years, before which it was stagnating at around $500 million per annum. By 2010, GE hopes its India business to improve to $8 billion - 16 per cent of the projected turnover of $50 billion from the emerging markets.
Be that as it may, I remind Bayman that at least one of his plans for India never took off - to have a bank in the country. Bayman says talks are still going on with the Reserve Bank of India. I leave it at that. On his part, Bayman ranks the failure of GE's joint venture with the Godrej family, Godrej GE Appliances, as his biggest failure in India.
"It was our mistake. While everybody in business knew about GE, the consumers didn't know the GE brand. The cost of building the brand didn't make sense. Our products were not suited for India," Bayman says. As he launches on his lettuce salad, the words of a common friend start ringing in my ears: "He is not a bullshitter and talks straight."
"It was the saddest day of my career," Bayman adds. What must have hurt more is that before coming to India, Bayman was in-charge for worldwide marketing and product management at GE Appliances.
On the positive side, Bayman can take credit for starting the BPO movement in the country with Genpact (now Gecis) in 1997. "At that time, unemployment in the United States was zero. And we also got savings by starting operations in India," Bayman says, adding: "Had there been a BPO industry in India at that time, we wouldn't have started the company."
GE subsequently sold 60 per cent in the venture to private equity investors once it realised it wasn't its core business. "It is good we sold to private equity; that way, the company has been able to preserve the GE culture," he says. When I ask him the obvious question, Bayman admits that he did have several offers from Indian businessmen to buy out the BPO outfit.
Bayman's biggest achievement in India, observers say, was to extricate GE from the Dabhol mess. GE had got the contract to supply turbines for Enron's ill-fated Dabhol project and had, therefore, taken a 10 per cent stake in the company. Once Enron imploded, GE's investments were in danger. But Bayman was able to get the money back, though after two years.
"This couldn't have happened in another country, we wouldn't have got a penny back," says Bayman, having moved on to a salami pizza, while I negotiate a baked fillet of fish served with mashed potatoes. GE, he adds, was able to get back almost the entire $115 million it had invested in the project.
Having come out of Dabhol unscathed, Bayman's reputation in the capital's power circles as an expert in government relations grew manifold. "Jack Welch sold India to the world. GE has been a good friend of India in Washington during tough times," he says.
When I ask him to elaborate, he adds: "After the nuclear tests, we worked to get some sanctions against India lifted. We talked with Senators and Congressmen for the inclusion of India in the nuclear club. I am as much an insider as any expat."
He lobbied successfully for Boeing to bag the multi-billion order for passenger aircraft from Air-India - GE makes the engines - and was working equally hard to bag the Indian Air Force order for 128 fighter jets for American firms.
Naturally, Indian companies want Bayman on their board. He has already joined the Crompton Greaves board and says he has a few more offers. "I will come to India four to five times every year to attend board meetings and play golf with my friends," he says.
I next draw Bayman's attention to GE CEO Jeff Immelt's recent statement that after GE Plastic's divestment to Sabic, no other business would be sold. Jack Welch had laid down the rule that GE should get out of any business in which it was not number one or number two. So, is "Neutron" Jack's imprint on GE over?
"We are less hung up about number one and number two now," Bayman says, adding: "What matters is that we are in businesses and countries that will provide double digit growth in the long run."
And India is one of these countries. It is evident that India has left a deep impression on him - his eyes light up whenever he talks about the country and its people. "The sights and smells are boggling," he says, adding: "In contrast, the United States is generic and vanilla." Bayman has been spotted in crowded Delhi markets like Lajpat Nagar selecting curtains for his home.
When he first came to India, Bayman says he found India to be self-centric. Now, he finds the country more outward looking. "But the core values of family and compassion are still there in the people," he says.
Still, Bayman leaves for the United States next month, where he will alternate between Chicago and Florida. "Go where the sun is: Chicago in summer and Florida in the winters," he lets out his retirement plans.
Both of us decide to skip dessert.
Photograph: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images
Bhupesh Bhandari
Source: 




The ongoing whistleblower corruption against General Electric Company in India (Writ Petition (Civil) 1280/ 2012 – in the matter of Seema Sapra v. General Electric Company and Others) is next listed before the Delhi High Court on 10 November 2014. 

Details of GE corruption in Indian Railway locomotive tenders can be found at http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/p/some-of-corruption-fraud-bribery_4275.html

Also read about how as part of attempted cover up GE is using unauthorised persons to impersonate it in the Delhi High Court in this matter http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/p/unauthorised-and-fraudulent.html

Also read about massive tax fraud by General Electric in India - http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/2014/10/fwd-message-to-prime-minister-narendra.html

Also read about General Electric's money laundering and how it used an NBCU subsidiary to transfer bribes through an India media company NDTV at http://seemasapra.blogspot.in/p/complaint-of-money-laundering-against.html