H C Singh

Corruption in India – Considered Worst in Entire World

It is well known that corruption during UP II regime, particularly during 2010 exceeded all limits and is worst ever-CWG’s Suresh Kalmadi and his associates, 2G’s A Raja and his collaborators. The CVC’s Thomas though tainted but adamant, Hassan Ali for money laundering along with his henchmen. As their corrupt practices were shielded by government of India for months and even years, it has brought bad name to India. A well known foreign magazine Economist of UK referred to India as “Rotten state” that too in headline of an article on India’s corruption what can be worse than this headline?

Former Communication Minister of India was found to be corrupt a year back and even six months ago, he was asked to resign but bring congress associate DMK’s nominee Karunanidhi did not agree for months. Ultimately when demand for JPC against A Raja having been resisted and entire winter session of Parliament lost, UPA II releasing that Budget session of Parliament may meet the fate of winter session, conceded to the demand of opposition and agreed to JPC. Soon A Raja of 2G was found guilty after interrogation and convicted and sent to jail. As A Raja’s aide and a key suspect in Spectrum case, Sadiq Batcha after interrogation by CBI found him guilty, to avoid jail and humiliation he committed Suicide by hanging in his home. A Raja through sale of licences almost at 10 year old prices has caused loss of more than “40 billion dollars” to the exchequer and people of India. The huge unprecedented graft is equivalent to lakhs of crores of rupees, most of it lying in foreign banks.

As the government of India was unable or ineffective to curb graft and corruption, Supreme Court of India came to the rescue of government and people of India. Government was not willing to dismiss Thomas CVC, who was adamant despite government’s advice to resign, SC ordered his dismissal. Thomas who had criminal case against him in Kerala still pending, said that there are more than 28% sitting Lok Sabha Members who had criminal charges or inquiries against them. SC even pointed finger on Sibal, the new Telecom Minister who tried to defend A Raja by saying that there was no loss to exchequer caused by A Raja. SC took serious note of money laundering by Hassan Ali and of black money kept by him in foreign banks : “ Some say that 450 billion dollars of illgotten gains or unearned savings are sitting in foreign banks” as outlined by Economist. Finally on 7th March 2011 SC charged Hassan Ali of depositing 8 billion dollars equivalent in Swiss banks, thus leading to immediate action against him.

Why and how corruption in India has increased in last decade particularly? There are hundreds of corruption and vigilance cases investigated by the government and its vigilance agencies, the cases linger on for years going from one court to another and then, only few cases go to SC for decision. In contrast in Haridas Mandhra scandal, retired justice MC Chagla was appointed to investigate and he gave his verdict after thorough examination in 24 days only. The then Finance Secy Haribhai Patel was indicted . Justice Chagla also had T.T Krishnamachari the then Finance Minister responsible for not taking supervisory action. As a result T T K resigned from the cabinet. In contrast A Raja Telecom Minister took years to resign while Thomas CVC with criminal records refused to resign finally SC intervened to dismiss him. It must be said if there is corruption allegation and is confirmed the corrupt person, in China get punishment within few days. Ofcourse India, unlike China is a democracy it takes time to convict and punish but example of conviction within 24 days by justice Chagla is the best example of Indian democracy. Singapore a small country in South east Asia populated by Chinese and Indian is considered to be least corrupt country of the world.

Even Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is facing more than 900 cases (964 to be exact) for anomalies. On the basis of IPC by one candidate in UPSC Exam 2010, the SC ordered UPSC to reveal the marks of all the candidates who appeared in preliminary examination of 2010. As there is evidently something fishy, UPSC has not till 20th March 2011 revealed the list. There are other cases relating to UPSC officials for which petitions have been filed and it is admitted that more than 105 crore rupees was incurred by UPSC in defense in last 5 years.

India’s judiciary too, is tainted. Former CJ of Karnataka High court P D Dinakaran is facing 16 charges including corruption and land grabbing. Vice President of India appointed a committee to probe the cases against him and it is yet to submit its report. This is unfortunate.

Another revelation of corruption is the issue of fake pilot licences by bribing from 1 to 2 lakh rupees or besides corruption is nepotism. Out of seven, five close relatives of DGCA officials have got fake pilot licences. So for 6 pilots have been found with fake licences and they have been indicted. Now full investigation is going on including that of a fake flying school. Such a corruption endangers the lives of hundreds of travelers by India’s Airlines including Indian Airlines and Spice jet. One DGA official Pradeep kumar and three touts have been arrested and more might be arrested in due course.

Suicide by Sadiq Batcha a close associate of A Raja of notorious 2 G scam is because he knew too much about A Raja’s method and extent of corruption and the lakhs of crores kept in foreign banks. As his wife Reha Banu has said after the Suicide: “My husband could not cope with the embarrassment caused by 2 G spectrum scam” Batcha was going to be grilled by CBI again on the day he committed.

Now Tata, Anil Ambani and Radia have been summoned to appear for interrogation. Though Tata has so far denied any links with A Raja or his 2 G scam. Radia along with Tata and Anil Ambani are expected to reveal the extent of benefits they made because of their links with Radia .On 29th March 2011, CBI informed Supreme Court that A Raja along with Swan and Loop  would face charges of “ cheating, forgery and Corruption” CBI also undertook to file chargesheet on April 2.

As all this was not enough to tarnish the image of India and UPA II government and even the opposition party BJP, recent Wiki Leaks have fired two bombshells accusing Congress and BJP when it was in power in 2002.

To conclude vast amount of corruption, money laundering, lakhs of crores of rupees in foreign banks and incompetence of the government of India to tackle in time A Raja’s 2 G scam and failure to disclose the names available with government of those who have siphoned lakhs of crores in foreign banks can not be forgiven and can never be forgotten. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi’s government of UPA II has still almost three years to be serious in tackling corruption, now with the help of Supreme Court of India and let India be a nation that shines once again.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NIRA RADIA – HER LIFE AND TAPES-IMPLICATION

Nira was born in 1959 in Nairobi, Kenya, where her parents of Indian origin Iqbal Narain Manan had settled. Her adopted name NIRA RADIA or before marriage Nira Menan suggests that she is a Keralite but she is daughter of Punjabi parents and had contact with a Gujarati after her family had shifted to London. She married that Gujarati young entrepreneur Janda Radia and come to be known as Nira Radia and worked with her husband initially but, being more ambitious than Janda, she entered in to airline business as adviser. She made quite a success. While her husband had got the bad name by liquidating or dissolving 8 trade companies. In 1994 she came to India where her father had negotiated a job for her in SAHARA Airlines. That was the turning point in her life. Though she had three children from marriage with Janada Radia, she abandoned them and after a few years had illicit relations with Dhiraj Singh with who she remained close from 1994 to 2002. When both want to open a bank account in Swiss bank, she had become so close to Singh that she was Mrs. Singh when both went to USA. But despite such closeness for almost a decade when they were living together as a family, she broke up with Singh and changed living for kidnapping her 16 year old son, for which Dhirag Singh spent two years in jail. This was the character of Nira Radia that she could be close to one for her selfish business purpose and dump him when she no longer needed his help or association.

As Nira Radia had assets of more than 300 crores in short span of a decade, Income Tax authorities as well as Finance Ministry got suspicious about her clandestine, even antinational, activities as she had been called a foreign agent, though not substantiated From 2007, because of her contacts particularly with Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, her conduct, movements and association with business tycoons, IAS Officers and ministers of States and Centgre, her 14 telephone lines were being trapped on the direction of Finance Minister, However it took almost a year to find out the truth. Though allegations against her came to light only after the Nira Radia tapes when on November 2009 it was decided by CBI and Income Tax authorities to depart someone to collect her tapes.

Now, in brief, names of persons and organizations in business and government who were using the influence Nira Radia for their personal purposes of collecting wealth and with influence and association of Nira Radia, knowingly or unknowingly. First of all comes Ratan Tata almost the richest and most talked about and influential business tycoon. How he got close to Nira Radia and what he gained for some years and what he lost (status and respect as most intelligent entrepreneur). Nira Radia had met Ratan Tata in 2001 which was the most significant year of her life when she was working for Tata Airlines & Singapore Airlines a joint venture. She impressed Ratan Tata so much that within a couple of years she was handling public relations of 14 Tata companies and by 2009 she had so much influence on Rata Tata that she was controlling public relations of about 90 Tata companies.

Because of Radia’s closeness to Tata and her influence in 2008 and the business tycoon, richest Indian, Mukesh Ambani thought of similar rise with the influence of Radia with publication and bureaucrats. Thus Mukesh Ambani gave to Nira Radia virtually entire control of Reliance Industries. This sudden rise of Nira Radia also disturbed the central government. UPA-II whose communication minister ‘A’ Raja was also in close contact of Nira Radia and through her was indulging in more corruption as he was till then unchallenged. But Nira Radia-Raja alliance had also tainted the image of Prime Ministger and UPA-II government in general. This led in a year or so to investigation in Nira Radia activities and finally the Nira Radia tapes disclosures. Nira Radia was to expect in getting hold of right men to achieve her object both in industry and government, without being herself in front live. So she had, what is called a ‘Fixer’ for this purpose. She chose Tarun Das who was eminent organizer of Indian Industry, was not simply in good books of the government but had untold influence even on PM Manmohan Singh on whose recommendation he had been awarded Padma Bhushan in 2006. Nira Radia’s conversation with Das virtually shows that Das was willing to influence the government to get what she wanted, of course at a price to Das. Besides many fixing done by Das, Nira Radia got two important approvals made by the government viz appointment of Kamal Nath as minister of surface transport, to support ‘A’ Raja and appoint Sunil Arora as Chairman of Indian Airlines. To all these suggestions by Das, the fixer, PM agreed and lost his prestige, particularly by defending for long Raja and also by opposing JPC, so that Raja, whom he had defended for a long is not exposed.

To conclude, Nira Radia was educated in London, was very intelligent, particularly impressive in conversation. As a result she could impress in first meeting business stalwarts like Ratan Tata, but she being over ambitious and determined to achieve her objective by fair, more after by foul means. Her conversation on tapes and her almost a dozen telephone numbers, when got in possession of government and got publicity in media people all over India, many bureaucrats and ministers and even UPA-II got into trouble along with Nira Radia. Her rise and fall during two decades proves that no one, businessmen, politician, bureaucrat or even common man or woman, should never adapt foul means to attain their object, howsoever right it may be.

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment