Thursday, Jul 10, 2003
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By Ignatius Pereira
The amount could have been realised six months ago. But the Industries Department has shown no interest in filing the required execution petition to realise the same.
When contacted, the Capex chairman, G. Balachandran, said the fact that such an amount was due from the Trifed and pending realisation came to his attention only five days ago and that he had taken steps to realise the amount by informing the Industries Department.
Prof. Balachandran also said that since his takeover as the chairman of the Capex, no one had informed him about the realisation of such an amount from the Trifed and that it was while going through the files last week that he had become aware of the same.
He immediately communicated it formally to the Industries Department to realise the amount.
It is alleged that there was a vested interest behind keeping the realisation of the amount pending.
The motive was allegedly to keep alive the Vigilance case against Capex officials, including the then managing director, who were suspended in connection with the loss supposed to have been incurred by the Capex at that time on account of the controversial deal with the Trifed.
The Capex was awarded the amount by the Kerala Cooperative Tribunal as compensation following a legal battle, which lasted a couple of years.
The issue pertains to a deal for the supply of raw nuts, which the Capex entered into with Trifed in October 1995.
As per the deal, better known as the "Andhra deal'', 5,000 tonnes of raw nuts had been supplied to the Capex by the Trifed through an agent, B.P. Exports, at the rate of Rs. 34.50 per kg on a guarantee that the out-turn on processing would be 21.5 kg kernels on a bag of raw nuts containing 80 kg
However, when the consignment reached here by rail, the quality and quantity were found to be much below what had been assured in the ad hoc formal agreement.
It led to the suspension of six Capex officials, including the MD, K.V. Kamaladharan, on grounds that through the deal, the Capex had suffered a loss of Rs. 5 crores and that the same was a scam.
However, a litigation filed before the Cooperative Tribunal and the Kerala High Court had established that there was no scam behind it since it was a formal deal between a State Government undertaking and a Central Government undertaking.
The verdict of the Cooperative Tribunal stated that the Trifed should compensate the loss by paying Rs. 3.2 crores with 12 per cent interest per annum as damages to the Capex.
Though the Trifed filed an appeal in the High Court for stay on the Tribunal verdict and obtained the same, in March this year, the stay had got vacated.
But yet, there was no initiative on the part of the Capex to realise the amount.
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