22 January, 2015


“Black money will never come back so long as Arun Jaitley is the Finance Minister”, Mr. Ram Jethmalani recently thundered in a Press Conference (Link) and in his 2 letters to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Letter 1) (Letter 2)

We all know Mr. Jethmalani is no saint but his scathing claims reminds one of a pertinent quote, “It is not what you think that makes you. It’s that which you do.”

Google search results on 'Arun Jaitley' help throw light on why he gives the appearance of being wily and ambiguous in his actions and lackadaisical in ethics.

Consider the following ethical lapses and omissions on the part of the veteran BJP politician that reveal his poor moral constitution:

1. The Income Tax department, now under Mr. Jaitley, claims to possess 500 hours of telephonic transcripts of suspected Hawala dealer, Moin Qureshi. (Link) As per the transcripts, Mr. Qureshi used to have regular interactions with Mr. Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and one of the most powerful politicians in India. Why is the Income Tax department going slow in investigating Mr. Patel’s nexus with Mr. Qureshi?

2. In the year 2006, when one can easily say that Mr. Jaitley was in a prime position in Indian politics, he chose to take blood money from a tainted organization, The Dow Chemical Company, parent of the infamous Union Carbide that was involved in the Bhopal Gas Leak horror. (Link) Mr. Jaitley, in his legal advise, expounded how, in their new avatar, the group companies were shielded from liabilities towards the gas leak victims i.e. monies that would go to the families and victims of the horrifying episode.

Strangely, despite being a leading lawyer and politician of the country, Mr. Jaitley’s advice to the Dow Chemicals Company on 13th December, 2006 stated that 4,000 people died in the Bhopal gas tragedy. However, according to Government of India’s affidavit filed much earlier in the Supreme Court of India on 26th October, 2006; 5,207 people died due to direct exposure of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) gas and 10,084 died due to injuries. (Link) Why did Mr. Jaitley play down the number of dead and for whose benefit? Did he even know the scale of the loss of the sufferers?

3. In 1998, the Delhi High Court dismissed a case filed by Dr Subramanian Swami against P. Chidambaram for having invested in scam tainted Fairgrowth Financial Services Ltd while he was the Minister of Commerce in the Narasimha Rao government. Dr. Swamy had alleged that Mr. Chidambaram had acquired 10,000 shares of Fairgrowth and had wanted the Court to order a CBI inquiry into it. Guess who represented Mr. Chidambaram in the Delhi High Court and got Dr. Swamy’s case dismissed? None but our incumbent Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley! (Link)

4. According to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Report No. 4 of 2009 / 10 (Direct Taxes), Hasan Ali alone accounts for ₹ 71,874 crore of uncollected demand.

Till today we hear nothing of the matter from the Finance Ministry on the steps it is planning to take to recover and bring back this ₹ 71,874 crore black-money to India. It is quite clear that Hasan Ali is the lynchpin in investigations against top notch politicians of the country. Is Mr. Jaitley trying to protect someone?

5. In a recent letter, BJP MP Kirti Azad has alleged ₹ 150 crore corruption under Mr. Jaitley's benign patronage when the latter was the President of the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA). Mr. Azad has used the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) report to bolster his claims that Mr. Jaitley’s 14 years long stint as President of DDCA saw scams galore at DDCA. (Link)

6. WikiLeaks cables thoroughly exposed Mr. Jaitley’s political leanings when he was quoted by Robert Blake, a senior US diplomat that Hindu nationalism is an "opportunistic issue" for his party. Mr. Blake said "Pressed on the question of Hindutva, Jaitley argued that Hindu nationalism 'will always be a talking point' for the BJP. However, he characterised this as an opportunistic issue". (Link) Why did Mr. Jaitley choose to brush Hindutva aside as inconsequential? Why was he, as a leader of a Hindutva party, acting as an apologist for his party’s core ideology before the embassy of a country that funds the maximum number of Christian conversions in India? (Link)

7. According to the Income Tax department, a minimum of ₹ 539 crore in taxes is due from NDTV and its promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy. Mr. Jaitley is fully aware that RSS ideologue S. Gurumurthy is fighting legal cases against NDTV in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India over the latter’s involvement in money laundering scams. Why has Mr. Jaitley given every exclusive interview only to NDTV knowing fully well that the Income Tax department, that reports to his Ministry, is investigating money laundering activities by them? When will Mr. Jaitley re-instate Mr. SK Srivastava, the IT Commissioner who unearthed the NDTV money laundering scam and is facing severe hardships due to his salary being suspended for more than 2 years? (Link)

Mr. Jaitley continuously appears as an opportunist, he belongs to a group which has Hindutva as its core ideology and yet contradicts it! He fails completely on codes of ethical conduct and conflict of interest. He just blows with the wind and creates political space for himself at any cost. It seems that his loyalty lies compromised elsewhere, away from BJP and Sangh’s stated goals.

While politics in India is being re-defined by a new breed of politicians today, Mr. Jaitley remains one of the old school boys that conformed, connived, hobnobbed and curried favour with the powers that were for political survival, (even if it involved sabotaging his own party from within) and thrived on manipulation and pure greed.

It however, remains to be seen as to when BJP and the Sangh Parivar will see through the real Mr. Jaitley, a dangerous weak link to the cause of nation building.

(Please send more instances of corruption or misdeeds by Arun Jaitley to rameshnaidoo@gmail.com. If you so desire, your identity shall be kept strictly confidential)

04 January, 2015

NDTV's partnership with 2G scam accused "Astro All Asia"

In August 2014, CBI filed a charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis deal stating that former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his family had received a bribe of Rs 742 crore for coercing entrepreneur C Sivasankaran to sell his telecom company Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis.

CBI charge sheet had named Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi, T Ananda Krishnan, Malaysia-based promoter of Maxis, Augustus Ralph Marshall - who headed Maxis' UK-based subsidiary Astro All Asia Network - and Sun Direct TV Pvt Limited, Astro All Asia Network, Maxis Communications and South Asia Entertainment, Mauritius.

In its charge sheet, CBI said that the bribe of Rs 549 crore in return of the favours was paid by Maxis through its subsidiary Astro All Asia Network Pvt Limited, based in the UK in the garb of investment (total investment of Rs 629 crore) in Sun Direct Pvt Limited, owned by Kalanithi Maran. The investment was done through purchase of shares of Sun Direct Pvt Limited by a Mauritius-based subsidiary of Astro Asia- South Asia Entertainment Holdings Limited.

Interestingly, in 2011, NDTV had sold 49 per cent stake for USD 40 million (about Rs 180 crore as on 3rd March, 2011) in its arm NDTV Lifestyle Holdings Pvt Ltd to Astro All Asia Networks. By a subscription of shares for USD 40 million, Astro All Asia Networks owned an effective indirect stake of 49 per cent in NDTV Lifestyle Holdings Pvt Ltd.


1.) CBI press release: http://cbi.nic.in/pressreleases/pr_2014-08-29-1.php
2.) The Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Aircel-Maxis-deal-CBI-charges-Marans-says-they-took-Rs-742-crore-bribe/articleshow/41223805.cms
3.) The Hindu Business Line: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/ndtv-concludes-stake-sale-in-lifestyle-arm-to-astro-asia/article1505923.ece