Monday, November 24, 2014

Adani Group under investigation for money laundering

Please find below the letter written by former IAS officer (former secretary to government of India) and noted anti-corruption crusader Mr EAS Sarma to various central investigating agencies about the suspected money laundering by the Adani Group.
Mr Sarma has pointed out that the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team on black money is investigating the matter and the State Bank of India should not have signed the MoU with the group under investigation for money laundering :

Date: 24 November 2014 7:37:57 am IST

Subject: Ongoing investigation into suspected money-laundering by Adani Group

The CVC,
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
Govt of India
Director, Enforcement Directorate
Director, CBI
Subject:- Ongoing investigation into suspected money-laundering by Adani Group
The enclosed news reporst (Indian Express dated 23-11-2014: “Business SIT, CBI to look into Adani Group case”) indicates that SIT is conducting an investigation into Adani Group's suspected money laundering case. It appears that the company has over-invoiced imports to the tune of Rs.5,468 Crores and “siphoned off” the amount, apparently to some unknown account.
From the ICIJ website ( country=&q=adani&ppl=on&ent=on&adr=on), it appears that some of the sharehoders of the Adani Group have offshore accounts which could have been in existence without RBI's knowledge. I enclose extracts of the relevant pages of that website for your information. Also, I enclose an extract of the shareholding pattern of Adani Group to show the link between the holders of the offshore accounts and the group.
I request Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to investigate these accounts as a part of the main investigation.
It is ironic that SBI should impromptu announce a huge loan of $1 billion to Adanis in the presence of the Prime Minister for the Group's Carmichael coal mining project in Australia, without looking at the implications of the ongoing investigation. The loan amount committed approximately equals the amount laundered according to the news reports!
I am confident that you will take these circumstances into account and place all the facts before the apex court appointed SIT.
I request you to inform the Finance Minister and the PMO urgently of the status of the investigation. I hope that each one of you will carry out the investigation expeditiously and fearlessly so that the the facts of the case may be established and the culprits, if any, brought to book.
I am marking a copy of this mail to MOF and the Cabinet Secretary for their information.
Yours sincerely,
E A S Sarma
14-40-4/1 Gokhale Road
Visakhapatnam 530002

What are Delhi’s MLAs up to? Jarnail Singh engages with the community

This is the sixth post in a series on “What are Delhi’s MLAs up to?”
Tilak Nagar had been a BJP stronghold for the last 10 years. In 2013, 32-year old Jarnail Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) beat the incumbent’s son, Rajiv Babbar by 2088 votes (2.38% of vote share). The constituency is predominantly Sikh and I had the honor of visiting a magnificent Gurdwara constructed by a community of Sikhs who hailed from Afghanistan. It turns out that Jarnail and I share the same ancestral hometown, Peshawar.

RWA Meetings

It was my first time sitting in the back seat of a Sarkari Ambassador as I rode with Jarnail to meet the Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) of Shankar Garden and New Krishna Park.
I’m not doing a favor, it is your tax money being spent in your area, the way you want it,” Jarnail said. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s Junior Engineer who was assigned to this ward was present as well. The meeting had a clear agenda, and Jarnail systematically updated the RWA on the status of projects in Shankar Garden. Members raised concerns, asked for clarifications, and thanked Jarnail for his sincerity and effective work. I was surprised with the orderly, yet informal nature of the meeting since “government work” usually conjures one of two images: long lines or disorderly parliament. “This is the seventh time Jarnail is meeting us,” Mr. Malhotra informed me.
Residents of Tilak Nagar provided positive feedback when I asked them about their views on Jarnail Singh’s work. “Jarnail doesn’t overpromise and under-deliver. He agrees to an inauguration only after the months-long process of submitting proposals and tendering quotes is complete.” Resident’s greatly appreciated Jarnail’s authenticity and the professionalism with which he carried out his responsibilities, “Jarnail treats everyone with respect, even those who did not vote for him.”

Governance Structure

Like other first-time MLAs, Jarnail and his staff have had to learn the ropes of Indian bureaucracy quickly. They were happy to share some of this gyaan (knowledge) with me.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is an organ of the Delhi State Government, which means that Delhi’s MLAs have considerable political power over the functioning of the institution. This is not true of the MCD, which is largely an autonomous body, where Councilors hold sway. Regarding DDA administration, Delhi has been divided into 11 districts since pre-independence. Each one has a District Development Committee (DDC). Jarnail is the Chairman of West Delhi’s DDC, meaning that he has political power over a set of government officials. During the legislative assembly’s Suspended Animation, this additional source of power has contributed to Jarnail’s ability to commission projects faster than other MLAs.
In 1957, the DDA was tasked with the responsibility of planning the infrastructure necessary for Delhi’s expanding population. Put simply, DDA is in charge of urban planning. According to its website, “The biggest challenge… has always been to provide adequate residential and commercial infrastructure facilities to over 11 million people in the city.” Currently, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung is Chairman of the DDA.
“90% of citizen complaints are a result of the malfunctioning of the MCD,” Jarnail explained, “if a road is narrower than 16ft, then it falls under the jurisdiction of the MCD. Wider roads are under the Delhi Government’s Public Works Department.” This answered many of my own queries (and hopefully answers yours!) about the pot-holed roads of Greater Kailash I. Councilors, and the MCD are responsible for the state of roads within neighborhoods

Office Administration

Jarnail touched the floor before entering his office, and prayed for five minutes at his office’s shrine before sitting down to work. Individuals or groups met Jarnail and raised concerns such as dysfunctional sewerage lines, derelict parks, and streetlights for safety. He frankly explained whether action from his end was possible, suggested temporary fixes until the government machinery kicks in, and gave estimated time frames within which he could get the work done. There is one catch. Everyone must give Jarnail a signed, written letter detailing the nature of work requested.
Jarnail has separate files full of such letters, depending on the nature of the request. I hadn’t seen any other MLA keep such detailed records of requests and projects undertaken.

An Extraordinary Life

Jarnail’s optimism and boyish charm hide the struggles he has overcome. Due to familial hardships, 14-yeard old Jarnail dropped out of school and took up his first job at an AC repair shop, which paid R.s. 300 per month. He developed a technical mindset over the years, but his salary wouldn’t increase beyond R.s. 800 per month.
“Jisko kuch nahi milta, usko salesman ki job milti hai,” (He who doesn’t get anything else, becomes a salesman) Jarnail joked. Jarnail earned 6,000-7,000 per month as a salesman, but the forced interactions with thousands of people helped him gain self-confidence. Chance interactions led to the opportunity to start a business, for which he took a small loan. Jarnail continued his job as a salesman for several years after he started his company on the side.
He eventually quit the job, became a full time entrepreneur and got a traditional arranged marriage. His wife and 3-year old son drop by the office everyday after school, sometimes having lunch together in the office. Jarnail never went to college, but completed his secondary education. According to his affidavit, he hast just over 1 crore in assets.
I am thankful for how far I’ve come, and want to help others,” Jarnail told me. “Before AAP, I was apolitical.” The Indian Against Corruption movement tapped into Jarnail’s longing for improving the conditions of the community where he grew up in. In December 2012, two months after AAP was founded, Jarnail started volunteering for the party. He went door-to-door to converse with residents and inform them about AAPs vision of transforming politics. Almost no one took him seriously. Many ridiculed him for believing that India can change.
In addition to being Tilak Nagar’s MLA, Jarnail is President of AAP’s Youth Wing.

The Jarnail Singh’s of West Delhi

Coincidentally, AAP’s West Delhi candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was a 41-year old journalist named Jarnail Singh. From the 16 candidates of West Delhi, there were three Jarnail Singhs in total, as two more Jarnail Singh’s were listed as independent candidates. It is alleged that political opponents planted the independents to cheat voters from supporting the AAP candidate. Especially when one considers the fact that independent candidates barely campaign or get any publicity, the independent Jarnail Singhs garnered 90,682 votes (6.7% of vote share).
The Indian Express’ report on the Jarnail Singhs of West Delhi makes a comical Slim Shady reference, “West Delhi confused: Will the real Jarnail Singh stand up?” As common as the name may be, I can safely say that my experience with Talik Nagar’s Jarnail Singh was definitely unique..

How Modi helps his Cronies - Ketan Desai

Cronies of disgraced ex-MCI president Dr. Ketan Desai who have occupied top positions in MCI through a rigged election (Supreme Court issued notice to MCI and Dr. Desai last two weeks ago against election rigging in response to a PIL moved by PBT) and are running medical regulatory system in India since last December, have claimed that they are investigating 300 doctors for accepting gifts from a drug company in Gujarat in response to an ‘anonymous” complaint.  Two long-time close Desai supporters, Dr. Ajay Kumar and Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, who are now part of the MCI leadership, have divulged this information to Times of India yesterday.  Ironically, MCI has long been sitting on a complaint against Dr. Ajay Kumar for alleged corruption and criminal conspiracy to shield Dr. Desai.  Further, Dr. Kumar and other leaders of Indian Medical Association (IMA) was also found guilty for professional misconduct by the previous MCI for accepting huge amount of money for sponsoring unhealthy commercial soft drink after a Kerala-based eye-surgeon, Dr. Babu, lodged a formal complaint.  Shockingly, after Desai cronies came to power at MCI, not only the case against IMA/Dr. Kumar was dismissed, MCI started harassing Dr. Babu and even issued summon to his non-medical wife recently.
In regard to the alleged investigation of 300 doctors, PBT raises the obvious questions: 1)  Why MCI accepted a complaint from an “anonymous” person?  2)  Why information about this investigation was deliberately leaked to the media?  3)  When thousands of complaints from ordinary citizens and victims of medical negligence are kept pending for years, why this particular complaint was taken up expeditiously by the present MCI?  4)  Does people like Dr. Kumar and Dr. Aggarwal, who themselves are facing complaints for alleged corruption, have moral right to investigate complaints against other doctors?  5)  Why MCI president forced the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) who was investigating Ketan Desai and his cronies including Dr. Kumar?  Will the MCI president answer these questions?

How Modi helps his cronies - Gautam Adani

A lot has been written about Australia's biggest coal mine, the Carmichael Project in Queensland. But little is known about the man who will be at the helm of this massive venture.
The buzz around the $16.5 billion Carmichael Coal and Rail Project has been largely about its environmental implications and the impact on the Australian economy, rather than about Adani Enterprises and the man who runs this empire – Gautam Adani.
The 52-year-old  Adani is a self-made, first generation multi-billionaire in India.  Owner of India's biggest private port located on the west coast of Gujarat, Adani's business interests span across coal  mining, construction, education, power plants and resources and logistics management.
He started off earnestly in 1988 in commodities trading. In the '90s his fortunes changed. He acquired 1200 hectares of land in the arid desert of the Kutch region in Gujarat, which stretches as far as the coast. There he developed a port and turned it into the world's largest coal unloading facility. This port is surrounded by a Special Economic Zone owned, operated and developed by him. It has a power plant, private railway link and an airstrip to facilitate businesses and industries. This zone was developed without environmental clearance, an issue that came back to haunt him later.
Adani is India's largest private port's owner and his stupendous rise came after Narendra Modi was appointed Gujarat's Chief Minister in 2001.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

First List of Candidates of AAP for Delhi Elections

AAP has announced its first candidate list for the upcoming Delhi assembly elections!

Sitting MLAs 
1. Manoj Kumar - Kondli 
2. Jagdeep Singh - Harinagar 
3. Jarnail Singh - Tilak Nagar 
4. Girish Soni - Madipur
5. Vishesh Ravi - Karol Bagh
6. Somnath Bharti - Malviya Nagar
7. Saurabh Bhardwaj - GK
8. Sanjeev Jha - Burari
9. Bandana Kumari – Shalimar Bagh
10. Satyendra Jain – Shakur Basti
11. Somdutt – Sadar Bazar
12. Cammando Surender - Delhi Cantt

Other candidates :
13. Sandeep – Sultanpuri Majra
14. Anil Bajpai - Gandhi Nagar
15. Atul Gupta - VishwasNagar
16. Rajesh Rishi - Janakpuri
17. Gulab Singh - Matiala
18. Vijender Garg - RajenderNagar
19. Kapil Mishra - Karawal Nagar
20. Jitender Tomar - TriNagar
21. ND Sharma - Badarpur
22. Bhavna Gaur - Palam

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

'Missing' in Rajasthan, Minister Nihal Chand Meghwal Seen in Delhi

Nihal Chand Meghwal, the union minister accused by a woman of raping her three years ago, is "missing", say the police in Rajasthan. They say they don't know whether he will show up on Wednesday at a court in Jaipur that has summoned him.
The 43-year-old minister has been summoned along with 16 others in the rape case filed in June. In Delhi, asked by NDTV if he had received court summons, Mr Meghwal said, "No, I haven't."

Mr Meghwal, a minister of state, has been shifted from Chemicals and Fertilizers to Panchayati Raj, but he has not been dropped despite the controversy. He took charge of his new ministry today.

He has not been named as a suspect by the police, a fact his party, the BJP has said in his defense when opposition parties have called for his sacking. 

In 2012, the state police investigated the woman's complaint and closed the case. She then moved court, which summoned the minister and others named by her.

In August, when Mr Meghwal did not appear in court, the police in his constituency Ganganagar said they could not find him to serve him summons as he has been staying in Delhi.  The court then ordered the Ganganagar Superintendent of Police to make sure the minister received the court notice.

The minister visits Ganganagar frequently and on October 19, he was there to adopt a village. A lawyer representing the complainant says there is no reason for the police to not track him down. 
Sources in Raisinghnagar, the minister's hometown, say he may not appear in court tomorrow.
The case of the "missing minister" has been seized by the Congress, which has asked PM Modi to explain. The party's Digvijaya Singh tweeted this morning, "Missing Minister of GOI ! Modi must respond. How can Rajasthan Govt claim that a Minister in GOI can't be traced ? Good Governance Mr Modi ?" On Monday, the Congress raised questions on many of the 21 new ministers that have joined the government.
The BJP alleges that Mr Meghwal was framed by the previous Congress government of Rajasthan.

We have heard of files going missing in government offices to save the skin of officials or ministers. But have you heard of whole ministers going missing especially when they are covered with government security. Difficult to believe, isn't it. It can only happen in the Modi government who allows his rapist minister to go into hiding.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

11 steps AAP-govt. took to fight corruption in Delhi:

1- Ordered CAG Audit of Power Discoms

2- Transferred 800 and Suspended 3 Delhi Jalboard Employees

3- Started Anti-Corruption Helpline No. 1031

4- Action on Corruption fast-tracked

5- Checked Ration Mafia

6- Checked Water Tanker Mafia

7- Surprise Checks of Govt Hospitals, Schools, Night Shelters and Transport Buses

8- Registered FIR in Commonwealth Lights Scam

9- Registered 3 FIRs in Jalboard Scams

10- Registered FIR in Reliance Gas Price Scam

11- Delhi Janlokpal Bill cleared by Cabinet (but BJP and Congress rejected it)

We did all this in just 49 days.

Did BJP take even 5 steps in 150 days?

The BJP Bhakts are always asking what the AAP did in Delhi in 49 days.
Here is a short list.
On the other hand what has the BJP government in Delhi under LG done in 150 days?