Getting back the fugitives

Nirav Modi has filed a case for bankruptcy for one of his many companies in a US court. His uncle, Mehul Chowksi has ‘written’ to his employees that his business has been so damaged that he can’t pay them their salary and asked them to find alternative employment for themselves. Both the uncle and nephew are abroad and there is no indication that they can be brought back home to face trial any time soon. Two others, Lalit Modi and Viajay Mallya, are also abroad, having no fear of being extradited to their home country. The Government’s – and a section of its  camp following media’s – tall claims that they will be brought back soon and made to face trial are just that – claims.
The way Mallya was allowed to escape may be recalled. The ED and CBI had earlier asked the immigration authorities at airports to detain Mallya if he wanted to fly out of the country and inform the investigating agencies. Curiously, weeks before Mallya boarded a plane for London, the earlier orders had been amended. The immigration authorities were asked not to detain Mallya, allow him to fly out and report the fact to the agencies only after he had flown out. Obviously, no low level officials had issued the amended orders; the direction must have come from above and been okayed by the political bosses. Decades ago, Quatrocci of the Bofors deal and Warren Anderson of the Bhopal gas tragedy were similarly allowed to escape from the country – and escape trial and punishment.
These facts need to be recalled as the Congress and the BJP – or the NDA and the UPA – are desperately trying to lay the blame at each other’s door for the Nirav Modi scam. “Not we but they” is the dominant discourse. But for the people, whose hard-earned money has been swindled by these businessmen, it matters little whether the crime took place during the UPA’s regime or the NDA’s. That the money cannot be recovered is clear. First the people are fleeced by dishonest businessmen enjoying the protection of the powers that be and then again it is the people who have been cheated who will have to make good the loss – by way of reduced interest rates on their term deposits, savings bank deposits and on all small savings schemes of the Government. They have only one alternative: to vote out the UPA and vote in the NDA and the next time to vote out the NDA and vote in the UPA. The gangsters will go about their business nonchalantly, cocking a snook at law.

Thursday, 8 March, 2018