HC sets aside inquiry report prepared by club-appointed officer against Special Public Prosecutor Ravi Goenka, appoints new officer for fresh probe
Special Public Prosecutor Ravi Goenka, a member of the controversial Bombay Presidency Radio Club (BPRC), is literally in the eye of a storm. Days after he alleged that the committee members of the club were involved in "massive corruption and embezzlement of funds" and mid-day reported the matter on February 27, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs appointed sleuths of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, a government agency, to investigate the case. Not only this, after Justice (retd) D K Deshmukh issued an inquiry report against him, Goenka challenged it in the Bombay High Court, which set it aside and appointed justice (retired) S J Vazifdar as the new inquiry officer in the case.
The letter of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs dated March 28 reads that the "complaint regarding the huge malpractices and irregularities against the subject company has been forwarded to the Registrar of Companies, Mumbai, for further action".
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Fiasco started last year
The entire fiasco started last year in September during the elections at the Radio Club. Goenka, who contested the election for managing committee members, did not get selected.
Speaking to mid-day, he said, "There were malpractices in the election, which I wanted to expose. So I moved court and challenged the committee members. The club president had even tried to kill me because I wanted to expose him. He was also planning to expel me from the club's membership."
"The club had framed charges of assault and breach of privacy against me. Justice (retd) Deshmukh was appointed in November last year to conduct a thorough inquiry against me," he added.
Sources said that in order to substantiate the charges against Goenka, eight people from the club had filed affidavits on January 28. In his inquiry report, Deshmukh had said, "Goenka has conducted himself in a manner which is improper, indecent and objectionable, which amounts to gross misconduct. Thus the charges framed against him stand proved, which warrant expulsion from membership of Bombay Radio Club Ltd. The club had also called for a meeting on April 27 to decide on Goenka's expulsion, but it has been cancelled.
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After Goenka challenged the inquiry report before the court of justice K R Shriram on April 15, the HC set it aside and appointed Vazifdar, former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana HC, as the new inquiry officer.
Speaking to mid-day, Goenka's counsel, Advocate Archit Jaykar said, "It seems the Radio Club was too eager to expel my client Goenka. That's why we approached the HC. The court has set aside the inquiry report prepared by Justice (retd) Deshmukh against my client. The HC has now referred the matter to Justice (retd) Vazifdar for a fresh inquiry."
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