Former chairman-cum-managing director and current director (finance) of public sector National Aluminium Company,Bajrang Lal Bagra has finally been given the sack 10 months ahead of his retirement date.
The Union mines ministry terminated his service with effect from May 1 depriving Bagra of any retirement benefits. However,all cases and proceedings against him would continue as per CVC guidelines.
Nalco now has the dubious record of having two successive CMDs involved in alleged crimes and removed from their posts. In the process,the company has lost about Rs 6,518 crore of market cap since May 1,2012. The shares of Nalco,Indias largest aluminium producer closed at Rs 36.8 at the BSE a dip of 40 per cent in the same period. During his tenure,last year,mining operations at some of its key mines were shut down due to expiry of mining leases.
Bagra took over as the acting CMD of Nalco on February 27,2011 after the arrest of then CMD Abhay Kumar Srivastava by CBI in a bribery case. Bagra was due to retire in February 2014.
He was removed as acting CMD in August 29 last year following a series of reports in The Indian Express over his involvement in an alleged Rs 50 crore lime scam besides other financial irregularities.
In June last year,Nalcos Chief Vigilance Officer in a report to the mines ministry as well Central Vigilance Commission had detailed his involvement in the lime scam in which the notice inviting tender were manipulated to favour certain suppliers.
However,he continued to function as director(finance) even though his tenure was to end in February 2012. The extensions,each for three months came even as CBI probed his involvement in the lime procurement scam and the CVC probed him in a Rs 107 crore fly-ash disposal case.
In an order dated May 1,the mines ministry terminated Bagras service with immediate effect. Nalco sources said Bagra was on leave for the last 4-5 months. But following CVCs reluctance on clean-chit,cabinet secretary is reported to have advised against Bagras extension any further.
Bagra was also under probe by Nalco CVO in the caustic soda procurement scamas well as recruitment of Graduate Engineer Trainees and Management Trainees. Investigations have also begun on wastage of more than Rs 1,000 crore in several business development projects such as a proposed nuclear power station in Rajasthan,Indonesia and Gujarat and a windpower project in Andhra Pradesh.