Two GSPC managers arrested in Rs30cr theft

Vol 19, PW 17 (05 May 16) People & Policy

Upset as he clearly is GSPC's new managing director JN Singh is downplaying the surprise arrest of two senior GSPC group managers on embezzlement charges by the state police anti-corruption bureau (ACB).

Vinod Kumar Sharma, former CEO of GSPC's information technology company Guj Info Petro (GIPL), was arrested on April 23 and GIPL's internal auditor Ashok Chajed was arrested on April 24. Both stand accused of siphoning off more than Rs6cr ($900,000) annually over the last five years and of breaching government rules on the award of contracts.

GSPC managing director Singh, when contacted by PETROWATCH, tried to distance the company from the arrests. "Sharma is no longer the CEO of GIPL," he stressed.

"GSPC received corruption complaints against him earlier also." Despite this outward show of calm, GSPC sources tell us Singh is worried, and has launched an inquiry into Sharma and Chajed's time at GIPL, set up in 2001 to handle sensitive data at GSPC, Gujarat State Petronet and other government departments. A GSPC source adds the arrests have damaged GIPL's reputation.

"Singh wants GIPL to give him a report on what's been going on," he says. "The ACB is preparing more arrests." After their arrest the Ahmedabad sessions court ordered that Sharma and Chajed be held in custody for two days.

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