Somesh Arora: How far is the next Bhopal gas tragedy?

Indian human lives are cheaper than the lives of the shrimps in American territorial water,

All the big talk about BP leakage, but for the biggest industrial tragedy, no one to bother,

Man at the helm was treated as state guest and allowed a safe passage,

We will get him extradited now, is the new high-sounding message,

For those in the state machinery whose duty it was to check the factory safety, where are those inspectors,

Not even a single one got punished or faced the music, for they were obedient hafta-collectors,

Compensation continued to get reduced, with every cut that went to all the political masters,

Victims will make some noise for some days, but that will be only till we have our next bigger disaster.

Lucky Tobacco: Not so lucky for either side

The allegations and counter allegations continue to fly between DGCEI and management of M/S Lucky Tobacco. While DGCEI  officials maintain that they were obstructed and their purses snatched by the mob in the factory and therefore there was obstruction to public servants and Dacoity, the management of M/S Lucky Tobacco has alleged that provocation came from DGCEI officials as there workers were stopped from proceeding for Jumma Namaz and this hurt their religious sentiments and what followed after that was free for all on their compound. M/s Lucky Tobacco has also gone to the court on defamation and loss of business reputation against DGCEI. The task of investigation is entrusted to local police at this moment.

In normal course, DGCEI would have carried Pancha witnesses as per procedure outlined in Central Excise and Preventive Manual during their search operations, and these witnesses can come out handy to the police authorities to reach out the truth. However, if there were no Panch witnesses, then the matter may only get complicated. The F.I.R of the DGCEI though mentions that officers lost their purses containing money during the alleged attack, is however, silent about what happened to their identity cards which are normally kept in purse by the officers and their loss is always a serious matter for officers of intelligence agency. It is also required to be reported to near police station or DGCEI headquarters. The card normally indicates that it is property of the concerned Government Department, therefore its   forcible dispossession can even be more serious than even the dispossession of money, in an alleged charge of Dacoity..

 Port of Karwar: The vanishing act

The minor port of Karwar was in for major controversy, when no one short of Justice Hegde alleged that port authorities as well as the customs allowed the illegally mined material which his vigilance team had placed under seizure with the port authorities was allowed to be exported and thus illegality committed both by port authorities as well as by the Customs. His team has even suggested probe by CVC. The role of customs or its connivance/negligence can come into play only if it can be established that they had knowledge and awareness about the material having been placed under seizure and still allowed the material to proceed and shipped. What the documents reveal in this regard will be a matter of interest?

Excise Department-- Inefficiency: Bad, Efficiency: still worse   Now this one is really interesting. A particular formation of Excise was informed by a Gutkha unit seven days in advance that they will be closing factory and availing abatement for 15 days. Say from Ist June to !5th June. On  31st May at 11:30 P.M., Excise officials visited the factory and started sealing process which was completed under a panchnama at 00:30 hrs. on Ist June. Again, on 15th, June, Excise officials came to the factory at 11:30 P.M. and initiated the ribbon cutting process of de-sealing under a panchnama which due to their efficiency they completed by 00:15 hours of 16th June.

Since, Panchnama to Panchnama there was a shortage of 15 minutes, due to efficiency of the Department officials, therefore party was given a SCN seeking to deny duty abatement worth cores of rupees. Now, the adjudicating authority seeing the logic behind the illogical, dropped the proceedings, but the reviewing authorities have sought a review of the order and are agitating it at the appellate forum.  How costly can be the Department’s efficiency at times for the tax payers!!!