Sumathi Ravichandran, Regional Passport Officer, nabbed

It is not everyday that one finds a top government babu, outside whose office people normally have to wait for hours to get an audience, being marched off to judicial custody. That small satisfaction is available today, when one reads of the arrest and remanding to judicial custody of Sumathi Ravichandran, the politically connected and influential Regional Passport Officer of Chennai. The report of the arrest is here and an earlier post of mine here.

I once tried to contact Ms. Ravichandran on her office landline telephone for very bonafide reasons. After I had fully identified myself, I expected to hear a question from the other side about the reason for my call. Instead, I got the following response, before the call was terminated unilaterally “Wrong Number.”

It was evident to me that someone who said something like that on her work telephone had to be absolutely deceitful, and today’s arrest of the official by the CBI seems to confirm that for me.

In any case, it was a story that was plain as daylight to anyone who bothered to look at the RPO in Chennai. Strangely, the Chennai media was completely disinterested in this story.

Although it is impossible to catch all crooks in India by the collar, as the corridors of power are swept, mopped and waxed by them day-in and day-out, it is satisfying whenever that happens.

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3 Comments

  1. Deccan Chronicle, Chennai – RPO held on graft charges

    http://www.dc-epaper.com/DC/DCC/2009/04/26/ArticleHtmls/26_04_2009_001_013.shtml?Mode=0

    The Times of India, Chennai – A heaven of corruption where officials work hand in glove with touts

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Chennai/A-haven-of-corruption-where-officials-work-hand-in-glove-with-touts/articleshow/4449613.cms

    The Telegraph Sunday , April 26 , 2009 article on the arrest of RPO, Chennai reads as follows:

    CBI arrests minister kin

    OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

    Chennai, April 25: The CBI’s anti-corruption wing has arrested the Chennai regional passport officer, who is the daughter-in-law of finance minister K. Anbazhagan, straining the DMK’s ties with the Congress.

    Sumathi Ravichandran was arrested along with travel agent Fathima on a passport applicant’s complaint that the agent had demanded Rs 9,000 as bribe to speed up the process. Sumathi had colluded in the matter, the CBI claimed.

    “The bribe amount of Rs 9,000 was recovered from the office of M/s. Ahmed World Travels. The said passport application of P. Lakshmanan submitted by Fathima was endorsed by the deputy passport officer, Chennai, based on the specific instructions from Smt. Sumathi Ravichandran,” a CBI press release said.

    Sumathi’s father-in-law is the number two in the DMK and the state government. He has complained to chief minister M. Karunanidhi that the CBI could not have arrested Sumathi without clearance from the Union personnel ministry, held by the Congress.

    Sumathi, an Indian Postal Service officer, was appointed RPO in 2004 with the blessings of then Union communications minister Dayanidhi Maran of the DMK.

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090426/jsp/nation/story_10877657.jsp

    The Times of India has reported “Interestingly, the state government had allotted a housing plot to Sumathi Ravichnadran at Mogappair Eri last year under its discretionary quota meant for officials with an “unblemished record”. The cost of the plot was Rs. 65 lakhs.

    No wonder such wrong has been happening unchallenged…..So much for transparency and accountability of our democracy which has been turned into a kleptocracy, thanks to such people with the courage of connections….. Less said the better…..

    Reply

  2. Hi,
    It is great news for all the Tamilians who are at Chennai suffering from the unacceptable behavior of RPO, CHENNAI that the Culprit Sumathy is arrested by CBI. This should have taken place long back. She and her Husband should not be given bail as they looted money from public and misusing their position. Sumathy has never been helping even the elderly people who visit RPO Chennai in regard of PASSPORT issues. There are thousands of people who were forced to bribe directly to Sumathy as they were in need of Passport for their kith and kin. RPO harass people and make them to wait in queue unnecessarily. The stupid… (snip)… who are in the Enquiry counters think as if they are the staff of US and acting funny with their own citizens. They are jealous and put people under stress, delaying the process of issue of passport. All the Chennai RPO staffs should be monitored and sacked once found guilty. NRI who wants to apply for their elderly parents of 80plus have suffered a lot and directed to bribe and take passport with in a day or TWO by Travel agencies. Online status page never found updated, we always Police Clearance not received dialogue always there even if the police clearance was over. The reason is nothing but the whole RPO is busy working of receiving BRIBE and issuing Tatkal passports. If some one is not paying bribe even it is TATKAL, it takes quite lot of time though they pay the official fee of 2500Rs. CBI should check the Application status of people and verify why there is delay. The counter staff are inhuman who are not even bothered to tell the applicants the right procedure or if any corrections required to be made in the application while submitting. They act as if they are doing favor to public. The passport Office should be privatized to serve the people in a better way and the RPO staff should be thrown to streets to beg and live. Then only they will know the importance of working hard with honesty.

    All the Indians should join together and protest on this issue. It is a big shame of Central Govt. to have such a RPO like Sumathy who might have issued Passport even to criminals. Be careful!!!

    God bless India.

    Reply

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