Members say they were stopped from conducting inquiry into cattle feed plant to prevent them from unearthing the full spectrum of the scam; Chairman Sahakari, MD Sawant deny allegations; Say inquiry committee lacks legal authority to conduct probe
PONDA: The committee to appointed to enquire into the losses suffered by the cattle feed plant of Goa Dairy, on Wednesday alleged a big scam by the top officials of the local cooperative giant.
Addressing the media at Ponda, the committee members alleged that they had been stopped from enquiring into the losses suffered by the cattle feed plant allegedly to prevent them from unearthing the full spectrum of the scam involving top officials of Goa Dairy.
They said that the Annual General Body (AGM) of Goa Dairy had, at its September 28, 2017, meeting appointed a seven-member inquiry committee headed by Dattaprasad Savordekar to inquire into the losses suffered by cattle feed plant of Goa Dairy.
However, just two days after initiating the inquiry, the committee was allegedly stopped from proceeding with the inquiry.
However, the committee members alleged, the BoD, MD and the accountant of Goa Dairy were involved in a scam. They also suggested that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who holds the co-operatives portfolio, should order an inquiry on the BoD, MD and accountant so as to prevent Goa Dairy from suffering huge financial losses.
Committee Chairman Savordekar said that the cattle feed plant suffered a loss of around Rs 7.35 crore over a period of four or five years. Therefore, he said, a seven-member committee under his chairmanship was appointed at the Annual General Body of Goa Dairy and even Goa Dairy Chairman Madhav Sahkari had approved its appointment.
“But just two days after initiating the inquiry, Goa Dairy MD Dr Navso Sawant suddenly stopped the inquiry committee members from getting documents to conduct inquiry at the instruction of Goa Dairy chairman and Board of Directors,” he said.
When asked why they waited for more than four months since their appointment on September 28, 2017, to address the press on the alleged scam committed by the BoD, the chairman, the MD and the Accountant of Goa Dairy, Savordekar said that Dr Sawant told them that the Goa Dairy had asked for advice and permission of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies whether the inquiry committee constituted by the AGM was legally valid and that he would allow them to conduct the inquiry only after receiving permission from the Registrar.
Savordekar further said that the Registrar had granted permission for the inquiry committee by a letter dated November 23, 2017. However, he said, Dr Sawant is denying that he ever received the permission letter from the Registrar.
When contacted for their response about the allegations of big scam in cattle feed plant, Chairman Sahkari and MD Sawant denied any scam saying, “These people are falsely levelling allegation on us and our officials. If they found scam, they should file police complaint about the scam. We are open for any inquiry by any authorities of the government.”
On stopping the inquiry, Sahakari said, “As chairman, I gave approval to constitute the committee to find out losses in cattle feed and even to look into other affairs of Goa Dairy. However, the representative of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, who was present at the AGM had brought to our notice at the meeting itself that instituting such committee was not legally valid as per cooperative laws. Therefore, the Goa Dairy wrote to the Registrar seeking his advice on the validity of appointing an inquiry committee.”
However, Sahakari said, no permission or reply has come from the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, so far. “Therefore, we did not permit the committee to initiate inquiry, as we would have to provide confidential documents to a committee that did not have legal sanctity,” he said.
On the claim of the inquiry committee members that the Registrar has sent his permission letter, Sahakari clarified, “The copy has not been officially received yet. The said copy appears to be the office copy of the Registrar as it appears from remark on it as office copy. But no official permission is granted for the inquiry committee to conduct an inquiry.”