Devils merrily dance under CBI’s southern HQ’s noses

Are officials in the southern regional headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI] in cahoots with criminals whose acts have left ‘We the People of India that is Bharat’ poorer by at least Rs.100 lakh crores?

The southern regional office of the CBI is smugly squatting on vital cases that include some of the biggest scandals, multiple murders, bank frauds and high treason! Worse, the inaction and inertia are an indirect applause to criminality of the worst order.

Crony-capitalism backed by crony-bureaucracy and political cronies are cocking a snook at the highest levels of the nation’s legal system – the Supreme Court – rendering it into some sort of atrophied crane!

October 1 2016 will witness yet another telecom spectrum sham-scam auction of telecom. It could potentially ensure that the Rs.50 lakh crore robbery of the exchequer through ‘telephony’ remains buried. The scandal involves a massive cover-up of a so-called cold-blooded murder of one Sadiq Batcha, the aide of former Union Telecom Minister A Raja.

In May 2016, a few days before the voting in the Tamil Nadu assembly elections that saw current Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s return to power, very briefly, details of a shamefully covered up political murder was exhumed. It was soon buried again.

Prabhakaran, a 25-year-old man had confessed to reporters in Tamil Nadu that he had murdered the aide of former Union Telecom Minister A Raja along with former top cop Jaffer Sait and another person. The person has since dropped out of sight. Washed up politician Vaiko pretended to raise the issue and then clammed up completely.

The exposes of the scandal had begun as early as 2012 and continue in these columns.

It was the Rs.50 lakh crore 2G Spectrum scandal that had caused the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam led by Karunanidhi to lose power in 2011. The so-called suicide of the main accused A Raja’s aide Sadiq Batcha had been brushed under the carpet by half a dozen bent cops at the level of Directors General of Police.

In August 2014, the Supreme Court ordered the reopening of an 8-year-old triple murder case by the CBI. The resultant denouement could potentially blow the lid off the Rs.24 lakh crore Tamil Nadu Granite scandals.   Nothing, however, has happened!

Sources within the government pointed to the September 2016 suspensions of senior bureaucrats – with former Chief Secretary Gnanadesikan leading the way. Alongside, Commissioner of Geology and Mining Atul Anand, three officials belonging to the Geology and Mines department and three executive engineers in the pollution control department too were suspended.

The suspensions were made without the government announcing any kind of enquiry against the officers, that too in spite of one of them having been the Chief Secretary of the state for one and half years. The orders were never made public or released to the media, said a well-known website.

Operative excerpts from the report cited 2 paragraphs above:

The Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the Madras high court for a CBI inquiry into the murder of former Tamil Nadu Minerals Corporation (TAMIN) chairman S Saravanan, his wife and their maid in November 2008.

On October 4, 2013, the Madras High Court set aside the trial court order convicting four people for the triple murder and ordered their release on conditional bail. Earlier, a fast-track court had sentenced four accused in the case to life imprisonment.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice J Chelameswar and Justice A K Sikri confirmed the Madras HC’s order for reinvestigation by the CBI.

The judges asked the investigation agency to probe public witness 40 (then assistant commissioner of police, Ashok Nagar, V Sethu) and public witness 41 (then assistant commissioner of police, Ashok Nagar) S Paranthaman. The officers had admitted on record that 4 bank lockers had been opened without obtaining permission from the magistrate, removed the stashed cash and jewellery, the Apex Court’s Division Bench observed.

TAMIN former managing director S Saravanan, 74, his wife Kasthuri, 71 and maid Anbarasi, 18, were found murdered in their house on 18th Avenue, Ashok Nagar on November 19, 2008.

The murders sent shock waves across the city, and police remained clueless till April 13, 2010, when they arrested cab drivers Mohammed Yasin, 24, S Udhaya Kumar, 23, and N Mohandoss, 43, and Mohandoss’ wife M Sathyabama, 34. On October 22, 2010, fast-track court judge G Savithri found all of them guilty of murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The prime accused, taxi driver Sathish Kumar, 24, committed suicide a few days before the others were nabbed.

The bench said: “We are of the view that the judgment of conviction and the sentence passed by the trial court have to be set aside and the matter has to be remitted for reinvestigation, to the joint director of the CBI, Chennai.” The judges also asked the CBI to investigate the matter afresh by questioning people other than those already examined.

The Rs.24 lakhs worth granite scandal is being passed off as one worth Rs.1.10 lakh crores. In June 2016, the Madras High Court saw the following as reported in The New Indian Express: Excerpts:

Advocate General A L Somayaji informed the First Bench of the Madras High Court that the State government will furnish a ‘composite picture’ of the granite scam, shortly.

The matter came up before the bench comprising Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan. The government has sought reports and inputs from various departments vis-à-vis the scam report compiled by Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Sagayam, Somayaji told the court. Time was granted till July 28.

The bench observed that it would take a final decision on the Rs.1.11 lakh crore scandals once the government furnishes the ‘composite picture’.

One of the options before the court is to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the investigation as prayed for by the Public Interest Litigation filed by ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy.

Dhandapani, a lawyer representing the centre’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the court that it too was looking into the matter and would file its ‘status report’.

The bench asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to be represented by its counsel by the next hearing date.

It passed unnoticed!

[Emphasis added]

Meanwhile, Paranthaman was recommended to receive the President’s Medal!

The CBI is merrily twiddling its thumbs about this!

Details of the scandal in Granite exports are available with the state police and the CBI, handed over personally by this scribe some 3 years ago.

A person claiming to represent IAS officer Sagayam approached this scribe for details of a court case – with special emphasis on the triple murder, secret Swiss bank accounts and the list of accused in the Saravanan case.

My blog published way back in 2013 – indicated that Saravanan was the origin of the massive granite scam. Its manifestation was such that the list of culprits in the ongoing but somewhat stymied High Court monitored probe could include could include former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and at least 2 former DGPs!

The question to be asked is: Do the suspensions of several top bureaucrats have any link with the massive scandals in the granite mining and the notorious thorium-rich-sand illegal export scandal? One of the main suspects in the is latter scam is Vaikundarajan, who once had held the shares of Jaya TV – the official electronic medium of the ruling All India Anna DMK! He now has his own television channel – virtually – but silently telling one and all – touch me and I will use the media in my control against all wrongdoers who once were in cahoots with me! Vaikundarajan’s stranglehold over Tamil Nadu’s southern edges is such that a judge of the Madras High Court who heard cases pertaining to the control of TN Mercantile Bank – opted for a transfer. In that scandal is another person with several shades of grey – Sivasankaran – of Aircel-Maxis-Sun-TV nexus notoriety! 

It is a grisly tale that has links all over the place – snaking into the living rooms of top bureaucrats and politicians in Tamil Nadu – and that includes the top brass of the brown-uniformed fraternity! 

The head honchos of top nationalised banking institutions like Indian Bank[1], Corporation Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Vijaya Bank, Canara Bank[2] and Andhra Bank – all of whom ought to be seriously questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation are being left untouched.

On top is current Central Vigilance Commission’s decision maker number 3 – India’s greatest criminal banker – TM Bhasin who had headed Indian Bank.

Bhasin is occupying his post with the brazenness of a hardened criminal.

Bhasin took charge as the VC on June 11 2015.

The earlier CVC had recommended that Regular Departmental Action should be initiated against Bhasin.

The Supreme Court is seized of the matter against Bhasin since July 2015.

Excerpts from averments in public interest litigation [PIL] matter being heard in the Apex Court against Bhasin:

Bhasin was indicted in a detailed inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission in 2013 for forging and tampering with appraisal report of Malay Mukherjee – a former General Manager of Indian Bank. Mukherjee currently heads IFCI.  

Despite this, Bhasin managed to get elected as the Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association in 2014!

Former Union Minister and currently a senior member of the ruling party Dr Subramanian Swamy had written a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister on 11.06.2015 stating that charge against Respondent No. 3 (Bhasin) is “very serious” and the recommendation of the selection committee to appoint Respondent No. 3 as VC must be withdrawn. He said “finding of moral turpitude by CVC of Bhasin makes him unfit to keep the position of Vigilance Commissioner.

The Central Vigilance Commission recommended action against current CMD of Indian Bank – TM Bhasin as early as August 2013 asking the Union Finance Ministry to comply.

Bhasin is being relentlessly exposed since 2011 from the time when he held the position of Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank. Besides the other offences mentioned above, Bhasin had allegedly collaborated with the nation’s enemy Dawood Ibrahim to ruin Bank of Baroda and thus destroy the Indian financial system.

Bhasin’s target was reputed banker SS Mundra, currently a deputy governor in the Reserve Bank of India [RBI]. Bhasin wanted the post and reportedly managed to keep Mundra waiting for several months. Mundra’s elevation to RBI became possible after Dr Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty – another ex-Indian Bank head quit his RBI post 3 months ahead of schedule. Chakrabarty has an impeccable record as a banker. He had spent most of his years in Bank of Baroda. Chakrabarty’s opinion about Bhasin can be summed up in just two words “sheer contempt”. The contempt stemmed from one act- the so-called inauguration of Indian Bank HQ – adjacent to the ruling AIADMK’s HQ in Chennai. Bhasin had himself participated in its earlier “inaugurations” twice! Worse, he managed to invite Pranab Mukherjee [then yet to be elevated to the nation’s highest office] to do the honours. It was a ruse to allegedly splurge a sum in excess of Rs.3 crores – sans any justification – for a function that lasted less than an hour! The worst side of it is that Bhasin reportedly went around claiming to have bank-rolled Mukherjee’s elevation to the office of President! And there were, wags in Chennai add, enough fools to believe this tripe!

The evidence against Bhasin has been piling since 2011!

Bhasin’s protectors-in-chief are said to be Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and ex-RBI boss Raghuram Rajan.

The CVC and one of its mainstays Bhasin are systematically targeting banks and bankers who, it is believed, are on his hit-list. One of them is – Bank of Baroda!

That the functioning of Bank of Baroda has gone to dogs since the departure of Mundra is a minor footnote to this shameful saga.

According to official RBI communiqués, the total write-offs in the 133 scheduled banks in India works out to Rs. 1,14,000 crores worth ‘bad loans’ during the last 3 financial years (2012-13 to 2014-15). The write-offs exceed the previous nine years’ dubiously written off debts.

Between 65-70 percent of the total bad loan stock of Rs 4,43,691 crores in the banking industry has lined corrupt and criminal pockets in the corporate sector.

One of them is of course – the great Vijay Mallya. In March this year – these columns had carried the prophesy – the ‘king of good times’ who continues to remain untouched. That continues to be the status quo now!

To add insult to injury, during the current fiscal, the union finance ministry  pumped Rs 20,000 crores to bail out banks facing a liquidity crunch. It simply implies that taxpayers’ money is used to bail out banks looted by crony capitalists.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is yet to touch former Union Home Minister and ex-Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Among other things, Chidambaram has lied to parliament on vital aspects of the brutal murder of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

The residence and offices of both Chidambaram and his son Karti – the hubs from where their global business empires are reportedly controlled, are located within 900 metres of CBI’s Chennai regional headquarters. Central agencies are dragging their feet over serious cases of fraud involving Karti.

Not far from the same offices is the location of Apollo Hospitals – an institution linked to dubiousness-personified-holy-man – Chandraswami and to the telecom scandal! Karti’s wife Srinidhi is a Vice President in that institution.

The CBI, however, has a different set of rules applying to those who expose serious wrongdoing to establish the rule of law.

One such case is that of an ex-cop M Moosa.

HR Hussain, an office-bearer of the Wood Products Exporters Association averred that the CBI stabbed Moosa in the back – by allowing diabolically corrupt forest department officials located in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

“Two former officials of the forest department in Tamil Nadu – one P Kannan and another Rajalingaraja have rendered Moosa’s life a misery with the active connivance of CBI sleuths and United India Insurance company officials,” Hussain said.

Moosa exposed the corrupt ways of Kannan and Rajalingaraja. The duo succeeded in prosecuting Moosa in false cases. Every time courts acquitted Moosa, the duo filed something new somewhere else. Moosa lost a few crores of rupees when someone stole his export consignment. United India Insurance Co Ltd [also headquartered in Chennai] has been dragging its feet for nearly 20 years – despite Moosa being proven right in repeated investigations. This is the price one has to pay when dealing with the CBI,” Hussain added.

A Chennai media-hack wag wisecracked: CBI is an acronym that stands for Corruption, Bungling and Ineptness!

[1]

It is a body of PR operators based in Chennai – run by a former employee of Indian Bank and Corporation Bank – Prime Point Srinivasan.

Those who are his buddies refer to him as a marketing guru.

Those who are suspicious of him – term the man ‘someone comparable to the one-eyed-jack who masterminded the murder of Rajiv Gandhi’.

Two of the men said to be close to this Srinivasan are – TS Raghavan and Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati.

The latter was acquitted from the notorious Shankararaman murder case – not so honourably.

The Tamil Nadu government and the one in Puducherry – where the pontiff was acquitted – chose not to appeal against a local court’s verdict.

TS Raghavan is a former banker and an accused in criminal cases. He is currently on bail.

The one in Chennai wherein Raghavan was in prison for some time – involves cheating thousands of investors who believed in tall tales mouthed by the promoters of Vishwapriya Finance.

Vishwapriya founders also face four criminal cases, including one filed by Bank of Baroda with CBI.

Link:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/IIT-M-alumnus-cheated-300-depositors-of-Rs-40-crore-through-finance-firm/articleshow/49029552.cms

After the initial brouhaha, cops in TN are taking it easy in the case, despite Raghavan being linked to a liquor baron Purushottaman and rare-earths robber Vaikundarajan – accused of stealing nation’s wealth worth Rs.1 lakh crores!

There is worse.

Branches of Corporation Bank located close to CBI headquarters are said to be involved in money-laundering locally and abroad, according to informed sources. A gang of middlemen auditors and film industry “Chettiars” are the ringleaders – who use accounts with credibility to change the colours of shady money. “Petitions have been sent to the CBI’s regional offices with clinching evidence, but, they are sitting on it, doing nothing,” a top banking source said. 

[2]

Operative portions from a report in The Hindu:

A branch of Canara Bank in south Mumbai remitted Rs. 340 crore, while most of the alleged forged bills were provided by Disney International, operating out of Nagpada (also in south Mumbai), according to the investigation.

Officials said that, prima facie, the names of the unscrupulous companies in whose name goods were invoiced sound bogus, and they were indulging in trade-based money laundering allegedly on behalf of unknown jewellers and diamond merchants of south Mumbai. “We suspect that a circuit of jewellers and diamond merchants have connived with bank officials to carry out this forgery, with officials allowing submission of forged bills of entry into IceGate, the e-payment gateway,” said sources in the DRI.

A.K. Das, general manager, Canara Bank, Mumbai, said the bank was not aware of any foreign exchange or foreign remittances fraud being investigated by the DRI.

“We have no reported cases in Mumbai of this nature. The bank is doing its due diligence in checking mechanisms for such incidents,” he told The Hindu.

Suveer Khanna, a partner at KPMG said: “While public sector banks are speeding up to improve their monitoring mechanisms, the private banks have an early advantage in that they are invested into improving risk management systems. While banking regulations are in place to prevent such frauds, the onus is also on the banks to take responsibility for building stronger monitoring mechanisms.”

The DRI is said to have finished its probe and is in the process of submitting a report to the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate.

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Author: haritsv

42 years' unblemished record of being an investigative journalist. Print quality journalist in 3 languages - English, Tamil, Hindi. Widely travelled, worldwide. Cantankerous and completely honest.

2 thoughts on “Devils merrily dance under CBI’s southern HQ’s noses”

  1. It was a wonderful feature from you sir. Horrifying to read about Bhasin, Raghavan and clout of the CBI. No wonder, we are claiming to be a democratic nation. Now the dirty-linen of some prominent personalities are washed out in public, we are expecting more skeletons from the cup-board. The financial and political system are working hand-in-glove. However, in our country, under-writing is nothing new, as some industrialists are ready for a tie-up with anybody, who assists them in their nefarious designs. With Mallya already playing his game and the Nadar community offended over share bungling in Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank, and with the Telecom sector, causing considerable concern, it will not be surprising, if more wichunts and bullies star appearing on the unpredictable money laundering with renewed vigour
    Thanks and regards,
    Venu

    Like

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