Example of corruption by PSU while doing ‘legal’ thing:
Socialism brought into existence industries owned by Govt. Some of these are monopolies of sort and are also in profit. The companies which are in profit are given a lot of autonomy by Government and in India such Companies are called and given a status called ‘Navratnas’ or one of the nine jewels. One such jewel under Ministry of Railway called up our office to seek legal opinion in respect of a matter which was patently wrong.
This is the reply given by us to them:
We have strict policy of not to be part of any corrupt practice. Opinion shopping is one such corrupt practice. Though we do not imply any corruption on your part at all.
Some PSU officials resort to seeking opinions from a number of lawyers but use one opinion which favours their cause. Since they can’t keep other contrary opinions on record, others are destroyed. And the lawyer who gave favourable opinion gets paid.
Accordingly to discourage this corrupt practice we have as a policy insist on upfront payment so that the opinion given be us remains on record.
In the year 2012 your predecessor took an opinion and was not happy with it. Hence our bill is still unpaid. We were not given any reason for non payment. Emails ignored and phone call refused as busy.
If you desire details of that transactions can be made available.
Under these circumstances we insist advance payment and can not render opinion without an advance payment.
We regret if it caused you any inconvenience.
This is the reply of the company, which is conspicuously avoiding main issue and hide behind a so called policy:
We wish to inform that XXXX Policy do not permit advance payments to the empanelled advocates. Empanelled advocates are supposed to provide the services and raise the bill as per approved Schedule of Rates by XXXX. The payments are made after the advocates have rendered the professional services.
In view of the above, we are unable to release advance payment as requested.
We once again request you to kindly provide the opinion urgently as already requested.
In case, we do not receive your opinion today then we will hand over the brief of the subject to some other advocate which may kindly be noted.
Thanks and Regards”
Note that XXXX is the name of corporation. Also note that reply is carefully articulated which does not even refer to opinion shopping.
For the record, Executive Director who wanted the opinion, did not call me back or asked for details of previous transaction.
This is the culture of corruption in which these Government Companies do illegal things and cover it up so called legal opinion.
Suresh Prabhu, the present Minister in Railways is a thorough professional and upright person of impeccable integrity. So is the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the question is who will rein these corrupt Bureaucratic practices? How and when?
The corrupt practices are so deep rooted and so fool proof that outsiders can’t see and insiders don’t tell.