Three former office bearers of Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) have written to the state Department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection aprising them about the irregularities in the body, and have quoted earlier MiD DAY reports to substantiate their stand.
A MiD DAY report on the alleged irregularities on October 31
The letter (copy available with MiD DAY) undersigned by ex-members -- Dr AR Shenoy, RB Purohit and Achintya Mukherjee � to the Principal Secretary, Bhagwan Sahay, point out the irregularities in the functioning of the consumer body and encloses copies of earlier MiD DAY reports published on Oct 31 and Nov 4.
The letter read, "We are drawing your attention to various reports that have appeared in reputed newspapers, in 2009 and as recently as October and November of 2011. Attached, please find two recent reports that appeared in the MiD DAY from Pune."
The letter also urged the department to take urgent cognisance of the funds used by the body as well as other sanctioned amounts. The letter further read, "That the reported excesses are merely evidence of the tip of an iceberg and can be gauged by the recent additional submissions of a current member of the Managing Committee, who was also successively the past Vice-Chairman of the organisation for several years."
In the letter, one of the petitioners R B Purohit mentioned that they had also objected to former state government Chief Secretary, Sharad Upasani, for serving as the President of the consumer body without being an official member. "Whenever he (Upasani) was asked about his official status of membership in several CGSI meetings, he has not given a clear answer and still continues to preside over the Annual General Meetings," said Purohit.
MiD DAY had reported that the SEBI had rejected reimbursement claims worth Rs 3 lakh submitted by the CGSI. The CGSI is one of the several consumer organisations officially recognised by the SEBI to hold several awareness programmes and guest lectures on behalf of the latter. The expenses incurred by the consumer body are later reimbursed by the SEBI after checking the veracity of each claim.
The alleged irregularities in the Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) will be heard before the Charity Commissioner (CC) in Mumbai on January 10. Several instances of financial mismanagement will be thoroughly probed. More importantly, one of the serving Managing Committee members, Anil Dhumak submitted a letter to the Charity Commissioner in the last hearing held on November 30 mentioning that he wanted to be the complainant in the case. Dhumak confirmed the development but said that since the matter was in court, any comment would interfere with the hearing.
Powers of Charity Commissioner
The Charity Commissioner's office is the official regulator and quasi-judicial body for all public trusts under the Public Trusts Act. In case of irregularities and mismanagement, the Charity Commissioner or the Joint Charity Commissioner can suspend office bearers and trustees and appoint administrators to oversee the functions of the body.