Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Corrupt dealings between General Electric and Mr Shakeel Ahmed, an Indian Railway public official in connection with GE’s 2008 bid for the Marhowra diesel locomotive factory Project

General Electric executives corruptly obtained advice and assistance from a Railways Ministry official/ advisor Mr. Shakeel Ahmed during GE’s bid for this Project in 2008-2009

Attorney Seema Sapra who was working as in-house counsel for GE Transportation in India in 2010 obtained independent and personal knowledge of General Electric’s corrupt dealings with Mr Shakeel Ahmed during the 2008-2009 Marhowra tender.

In June 2010, Attorney Seema Sapra was informed of such corrupt dealings by a US based GE executive (Mr Steve Seip) and a US based lawyer (Mr James Winget) for General Electric (both were working then with GE Transportation). Seema Sapra, then working as in-house counsel for General Electric, was on a phone-call with Steve Seip and James (Jamie) Winget towards the end of June 2010. This phone-call was to discuss certain changes that Sapra had suggested to GE’s technical prequalification application documents for the 2010 Marhowra tender that were under preparation. Steve Seip initially opposed the changes proposed and his only reason was that the documents prepared by him were based upon the precedent of the documents that had been submitted by General Electric for Marhowra tender in 2008. Sapra in her capacity as Legal Counsel for GE Transportation in India disagreed with the draft documents prepared by Steve Seip and pressed for her recommendations for modifications to these documents based upon her interpretation of bid documents. After some discussion on this phone-call, Sapra was able to convince James Winget about her suggestions and it was agreed that Sapra’s suggestions would be incorporated in the technical bid application to be submitted by General Electric. 

Steve Seip from General Electric then told Seema Sapra and James Winget on this phone call that the Marhowra bid application that was submitted by General Electric to the Indian Railway Ministry in 2008 had been vetted by Mr. Shakeel Ahmed, then a senior Government of India public official in the Railway Ministry. Mr Steve Seip described the procedure followed for this vetting in detail. He stated that each document contained in GE’s 2008 Marhowra bid application was after drafting, first sent to Mr. Shakeel Ahmed in the Indian Railway Ministry for his approval and was included in General Electric’s bid application only after such approval. This bid application vetted by Mr Shakeel Ahmed from the Indian Railway Ministry was then submitted by General Electric to the Indian Railway Ministry. 

This kind of consultation with and assistance from Mr. Shakeel Ahmed, a Railway Ministry official, who was directly involved in the tender process for the Railway Ministry was a corrupt and undesirable practice defined as such under the bid documents and rendered GE for disqualification and blacklisting.

An investigation into these charges will recover documentary evidence from General Electric confirming that a Railway Ministry official, Mr Shakeel Ahmed vetted General Electric’s bid application for the Marhowra Project before it was submitted to the Railway Ministry in 2008. A detailed investigation and the examination of General Electric executives and lawyers (including Mr Steve Seip and Mr James Winget) by investigating authorities will provide additional details and evidence of these corrupt dealings and will also provide evidence of bribes paid by General Electric to Mr Shakeel Ahmed in lieu of his help and evidence of how these bribes were paid.

GE’s corrupt access to and use of Mr. Shakeel Ahmed in 2008-2009 is also recorded in the an internal General Electric email dated July 12, 2010 sent by Pratyush Kumar to a number of persons including to Attorney Seema Sapra.

A copy of this email is part of the court documents in Writ Petition Civil No. 1280/ 2012 filed before the Delhi High Court. Pages 222-228 of the Delhi High Court record in this case containing a copy of this internal General Electric email can be accessed at

This email was sent by Mr. Pratyush Kumar on July 12, 2010 to James Gerson, Steve Seip, Kamal Shivpuri, Joanne Kleinhanz, Gina Trombley, Robert Parisi, Ashfaq Nainar, Ramesh Mathur, Kevin Randall, James Winget, Randy Biletnikoff, Christopher Morgen, Michael Lafferty, Paul Zeigler, Alan Hamilton, Vageesh Patil, Deepak Adlakha, Puneet Mahajan, Alpna Khera, Atulya Dubere, Amol Nagar, Praveena Yagnambhat, Ed Hall, Gaurav Negi, Ashish Malhotra, Himali Arora (all from GE) and to the petitioner. This email was copied to Lorenzo Simonelli, David Tucker, Brett BeGole, Russell Stokes, Monish Patolawala, Joel Berdine, Tara Plimpton, Eric Ducharme, John Flannery, Tammy Gromacki, Alexander Artman, Karan Bhatia and Richard Herold (all from GE). 

The subject of this email was “Draft Workplan for D-Loco India Bid” and it contained an attachment “India D-Loco Update 12 Jul 10 V2.ppt”. The attachment to this email was drafted by a group of GE executives sitting in Mr. Pratyush Kumar’s office cabin on July 12, 2010 after lunch-time. This group led by Mr. Pratyush Kumar also comprised of Mr. Ramesh Mathur, Ms. Alpna Khera, Mr. Gaurav Negi, and Mr. Ashish Malhotra. The email was thereafter sent by Mr. Pratyush Kumar at 6:05 pm.

This email states the following:

“Team, we have pulled together a draft workplan for D-Loco bid … with estimated dates and names (which are our best guesses and will require your input). We will set up a kickoff call with the core team (Pitchers – Catchers for each activity). Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Prat”

The attachment to this email “India D-Loco Update 12 Jul 10 V2.ppt” is a six page power-point document.

This email and the attached file are part of the Delhi High Court public record in Writ Petition Civil No. 1280 of 2012 on pages 222-228 as part of Annexure P-7 to the writ petition.

The first page of the attachment is a title page which states:

 “GE Transportation

India Diesel Locomotive
12 Jul 2010”

The second page contains a flowchart that is titled “D-loco Process Forward” with the words “Expected timeline” under it. This flowchart has nine boxes depicting nine milestones in the tender process. This flowchart depicts how Mr. Pratyush Kumar (GE) expected the diesel locomotive tender process would unfold. It depicts key milestones and underneath each milestone are bullet points that highlight key achievements or key targets for GE. These bullet points also point out the factors/agents that have had an impact on the outcome or were expected to impact the outcome.

The second box is for March 23, 2010 and it states “issue new RFQ”. Under this box are two bullet points. The first reads “No focal point in mechanical: Missing Shakeel”. The second reads: “Use momentum of E-loco to push”.

The second milestone on this flow-chart is the issuance of the Marhowra Project tender RFQ (Request for Qualification). The first bullet point states “No focal point in mechanical: Missing Shakeel”. The language used here suggests a contrast with the situation in the electric directorate of the Indian Railway Ministry. This language conveys that General Electric had no “focal point” in the “mechanical” directorate of the Railway Board. It also conveys that General Electric did have a focal point in the Electric Directorate of the Railway Board.

In the Mechanical Directorate, however, General Electric was “missing” Shakeel Ahmed. Mr. Shakeel Ahmed was a Railway Ministry official in the Mechanical directorate in 2008-2009, when GE had bid for the Marhowra diesel locomotive factory project. The language used by Mr. Pratyush Kumar conveys that Mr. Shakeel Ahmed had been General Electric’s “focal point” in the Indian Railway Board’s mechanical directorate in 2008-2009. Mr. Shakeel Ahmed was ‘missing’ in 2010 as he had retired. The reference to “focal point” by Mr. Pratyush Kumar is a reference to a pliable and corrupt Indian Railway Official who could be relied upon to favour General Electric and to help deliver the outcomes that General Electric wanted. Just to be clear, the reference to “focal point” is not a reference to the Railway Ministry official designated to accept the tenders and to communicate with the bidders. [The relevant officer named in the 2010 Marhowra diesel locomotive factory tender RFQ for this purpose was Mr. Santosh Sinha, Director, (Mech Engg)/Works, Ministry of Railways. See Clause 2.13.3 of the 2010 Marhowra diesel locomotive factory RFQ.] Mr. Pratyush Kumar confirms in this document that General Electric was “missing” Shakeel Ahmed who General Electric had earlier relied upon for support and help in the Mechanical directorate of the Railway Board. Mr. Pratyush Kumar’s email dated 12 July 2010 confirms that in 2008-2009, during the earlier tender for the same project, General Electric had access to, was in contact with, and obtained help from Mr. Shakeel Ahmed, a Railway Ministry official in the Mechanical directorate.

The statement “No focal point in mechanical: Missing Shakeel” in the above internal General Electric document establishes and is a written admission by General Electric that in 2008-2009, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed, an official in the Indian Railway Ministry assisted General Electric in its bid for the Marhowra Project. Mr. Shakeel Ahmed was at that time a high-ranking public official in the Railways Ministry and he was an adviser for the public private partnership projects, which included the Marhowra and Madhepura locomotive factory tenders. Mr. Shakeel Ahmed’s dealings with General Electric and the assistance he rendered to General Electric (including his having vetted General Electric’s bid documents in 2008-2009 as confirmed to Attorney Seema Sapra by Mr Steve Seip and Mr James Winget (from General Electric) in its bid to secure the multi-billion dollar diesel locomotive factory tender was nothing but corruption.

Mr. Shakeel Ahmed’s LinkedIn profile shows that from 2006 till October 2009, he was Executive Director/ Public Private Partnership & Adviser (Projects) for the Indian Railways. His LinkedIn profile describes his job as follows:

“Innovative business models for setting up large Railway Production Units in JV on the basis of Procurement-cum-maintenance Contract developed from scratch.

• Innovative business model for setting up production units on the basis of long term procurement contract developed.
• Preparation of complex two stage bid documents and a host of agreements requiring knowledge of procurement, finance, legal and regulatory issues, taxation, company law provisions, transfer of technology, domain knowledge of manufacturing/maintenance etc.
• Preparation of complex bid documents for appointment of reputed consultants on quality-cum-cost criteria done and consultants appointed.”

After his retirement from the Indian Railways, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed worked as Chairman cum Managing Director of Hindustan Copper Limited since October 2009. Mr Shakeel Ahmed was under investigation by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation for corruption during his tenure at Hindustan Copper.

Attorney Seema Sapra, who was employed as in-house legal counsel for GE Transportation and was based in India and was advising on GE's 2010 bid, blew the whistle on this corrupt practice by GE executives. General Electric executives and lawyers have not only failed to investigate this corrupt practice but have put into effect an obstruction of justice conspiracy to cover this up.

The attorney Seema Sapra faced with a life threat from General Electric executives and lawyers filed a legal proceeding in the Delhi High Court being Writ Petition Civil No. 1280/ 2012. The Delhi High Court issued notice in this matter to General Electric Company, GE India Industrial Private Limited and GE Global Sourcing India Private Limited on 7 March 2012. A copy of the Delhi High Court order dated 7 March 2012 can be viewed on the Delhi High Court website at

Instead of appearing before the Delhi High Court in this matter through properly authorized and competent person/s, General Electric Company lawyers and executives (including General Counsel Brackett Denniston, and GE in-house lawyers Alexander Dimitref, Bradford Berenson, and Jeffrey Eglash), caused this legal proceeding to remain hidden from General Electric Company and caused an Indian subsidiary employee K R Radhakrishnan to impersonate as the authorized signatory/ representative of General Electric Company before the Delhi High Court in these legal proceedings between 2012 and 2015 using fraudulent and forged authority documents on behalf of General Electric Company. With the help of this fraud, and using other dishonest, corrupt and illegal means, General Electric Company is attempting to cover up the corruption and FCPA complaints against it in connection with its bids for two Indian Railway tenders - the tenders for the proposed diesel locomotive factory in Marhowra and the tenders for the proposed electric locomotive factory in Madhepura. For more details on this fraud, obstruction of justice and attempted cover-up see

The Court record for Writ Petition Civil No. 1280/ 2012 can be found at

Though Writ Petition Civil No. 1280/ 2012 has been disposed off (as GE executives and lawyers subverted these legal proceedings in an obstruction of justice conspiracy), the complaints against General Electric including the complaint regarding Shakeel Ahmed have not been investigated or decided.

For more on General Electric corruption in India in connection with the Indian Rail tenders for the proposed diesel locomotive factory at Marhowra and the proposed electric locomotive factory at Madhepura, see  General Electric substituted fake representative/ signatory in Indian corruption legal case  FCPA alert- General Electric paid bribes to Indian public officials using third party contractor - Aartech Consultants India Private Limited  The PwC & Vinod Sharma conflict of interest & GE corruption in Marhowra Project Shakeel Ahmed, Indian Rail official corruptly vetted GE 2008 bid documents for Marhowra Project General Electric corruptly obtained Indian Rail Marhowra Project bid docs before they were public Wikileaks US Embassy cables on creation of Marhowra loco factory Project for General Electric General Electric corruption & fraud to avoid mandatory disclosures in India tender #FCPA Why is General Electric bidding for India electric loco tender which it does not manufacture   Seema Sapra - General Electric corruption whistle-blower: the Truth prevails