FIR against top officials of PSU Kamarajar Port for misappropriation of CSR funds

The FIR was filed after a judicial magistrate court at Ponneri ordered it based on complaint.

Cartoon By Prashant, Raipur. Copy Right: Cartoon Watch & India CSR Network

CHENNAI: Eight Senior officials including former CMD of Kamarajar Port Limited, have been booked on charges of misappropriating funds allocated to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities based on a complaint filed by MR Thiyagarajan, a Chennai based activist. The first port which is a public company, Kamarajar Port, 12th major port, located on the Coromandel Coast about 24 km north of Chennai Port.

The FIR registered by Kattur police on October 3 names eight senior port officials, including MA Baskarachar, Chairman-cum-Managing Director and P Radhakrishnan, General Manager (operations).

The FIR has been filed for alleged offences under section 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery) IPC against port officials MA Baskarachar, Radhakrishnan, Captain AK Gupta, pilot captains Daniel Devaprakash, pilot captain Karunanidhi; VG Saravanan Kumar, manager- environment; Vijayan, assistant manager and Vijayalakshmi, public information officer.

The police conducted preliminary investigation and reportedly issued summons to all the eight officials named in the FIR.

Kamarajar Port has not given any clarification in this regard, however officials have denied the charges of misappropriation of funds and said the construction of the hall was merely delayed due to procedural issues.

As per report appeared in Indian Express, the complainant MR Thiyagarajan has based his allegation on an RTI reply given by the port official, claiming that Rs 30 lakh was spent for constructing a community hall at Kattur colony in Tiruvallur district as part of CSR activities in financial year 2015-16. However, no such project was executed in reality.

During the year, the port claimed to have executed 84 CSR projects at a cost of Rs 7.30 crore.

The complainant Thiyagarajan alleged that many of the CSR projects claimed are false.

“I have evidence to show that projects executed by Kamarajar Port over the years, worth over Rs 25 crore using CSR funds are fraudulent and exist only on paper. I will be filing separate complaints in the respective police stations. This is a big scam.”, Thiyagarajan said.

“Already, the port is causing irreparable damage to the local ecosystem by dumping dredge soil in mudflats, saltpans and destroying mangroves. This is snatching away the livelihood of fisherfolk.” He said.

Now, CSR funds meant for betterment of the local community is also being misappropriated,” Thiyagarajan alleged that Kattur community hall project is an example where even foundation stone was not laid, but records show the work has been carried out.